This Saturday, Feb. 11, is National 211 Day, a time to commemorate the 2-1-1 go-to resource that has helped more than 100,000 people in Orange County access help for immediate or long-term challenges last year. Nonprofit 2-1-1 Orange County (211OC), www.211OC.org, maintains a comprehensive information and referral system for community health and human services and critical support.
Throughout 2022, its team of live, highly trained multilingual referral specialists connected people confidentially to locally available services 24/7. These included getting help with food, utility bills, military and veteran services, housing and rental, post-incarceration, disaster recovery, refugee assistance, homelessness, public transportation, workforce development, health and mental health resources, health insurance, support for older Americans and people with disabilities, adult day care, respite care, home health care, homemaker services and support for children, youth and families.
On average, Orange County residents cited three different needs per contact. The top requested needs were:
- Housing – 51%
- Food/Meals – 10%
- Individual, Family, and Community Support – 7%
- Mental Health/Substance Use Disorders – 7%
- Utility Assistance – 6%
In 2022, the 211OC received 138,443 calls, 14,911 texts, 3,108 emails, and 303,578 website searches.
“We believe that help should be accessible to anyone who needs it; they often just don’t know where to turn,” said 211OC President & CEO Karen Williams, who is encouraging people to try the service.
“People reached out this year to find information on basic needs, like heating or utility assistance, elder care, or to find the closest food bank,” she said. “They also called for everyday information like where to take their child for developmental screening or how to locate job training or find free tax filing support.”
Williams said that whether it’s a health, family, finances or another emergency, just about anyone can be floored by an unexpected crisis. 211OC is the only health and human services resource and referral agency providing confidential, one-to-one care and coordination for people in Orange County and is often the one thing standing between them and total despair.
To get help or speak with someone about your unique situation, simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone, text your zip code 898211, or visit https://211oc.org/content/contact.html. If dialing 2-1-1 does not work from your phone, try (888) 600-HELP (4357) toll free or (949) 646-HELP (4357).
For 39 years, 211OC has been a source of support for all of Orange County. For more information, visit https://www.211oc.org/