Tallahassee ushered in a 2-1-1 hotline earlier this year, and now that non-emergency number is helping folks across the border too.
Valdosta is now equipped to handle 2-1-1 calls to make sure folks in need or distress, have access to all the social services they can.
By dialing 2-1-1, folks can get access to any type of information they need to get help in a non-emergency situation. The goal is to help these individuals, while at the same time measuring needs within the community.
Just by picking up the phone and dialing those three digits, folks in need of any type of assistance can get some answers. A trained call agent is on all non-profit, faith based and government organizations.
“It's an assistance, it gives helps folks locate the assistance that they need in a timely manner, rather than agonizing over, going through crisis over 2-3 months at a time, trying to figure out their situation,” says Karen Costlow-Nolan, Executive Director of 2-1-1.
Questions vary from "where do I go for child medical services" to "who to call for inexpensive housing." the phone calls are highly confidential to make it easier for the caller.
The other end of the because there hasn't been a specific system to measure the different type of needs in south Georgia, the 2-1-1 should serve as an indicator. That way, the community will learn what types of services to provide in the future.
They are amazed that this is in one place, hope they'll give us a call and give us a try because the more we know what the needs are, the more we can respond to the people.
2-1-1 covers an 18 county region from Tift to Ware County and will only work for Bellsouth customers.
If the referrals can't help the caller, 2-1-1 operators will then provide a case manager to help the caller, they even go as far as teaching the individual how to become more financially stable.