people with important community services and volunteer opportunities.
What is 2-1-1?
Every hour of every day, someone in the United States needs essential services-from finding substance abuse assistance to securing adequate care for a child or an aging parent. Faced with a dramatic increase in the number of agencies and help lines, people often don't know where to turn. In many cases, people end up going without these necessary and readily available services because they do not know where to start.
While services that are offered through 2-1-1 vary from community to community, 2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. For example, 2-1-1 can offer access to the following types of services:
- Basic Human Needs Resources: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent and utility assistance.
- Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health care, CHIP, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol abuse intervention and rehabilitation.
- Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, educational programs.
- Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services.
- Support for Children, Youth and Families: child care, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
- Volunteer Opportunities and Donations.
What will 2-1-1 call centers do?
- Provide information and referral services to inquirers for their designated geographic area with well-trained staff who are knowledgeable about local resources.
- Create and maintain a database of statewide community resources and referrals.
- Provide appropriate services to crisis callers which includes stabilization, safety assessment and connection to further resources (domestic violence shelter, sexual assault survivor advocate etc.)
- Provide information regarding callers, service needs and resource gaps.
- Provide support to community and emergency service providers in the event of a disaster.
What agencies will be providing 2-1-1 services?
2-1-1 services will be provided by Information and Referral call centers that are AIRS (www.airs.org) accredited and that meet the standards set by the Montana 2-1-1 Call Center Association. Currently building on existing infrastructure are:
- Voices of Hope in Great Falls
- The Help Center in Bozeman
- First Call for Help in Missoula
- First Call for Help in Kalispell
How will 2-1-1 call centers handle domestic violence and/or sexual assault calls?
Call centers will have the ability to provide appropriate services to crisis callers. They will:
- Conduct a safety assessment and if necessary activate emergency services. (Where is your attacker/abuser? Are you in a safe place? Do you (or your children) need emergency care?)
- Determine caller location and closest community resources for sexual assault and/or domestic violence.
- Connect caller to closest community service provider.
- Log call to maintain a record of number of calls concerning domestic violence and sexual assault and track available resources.