Connecting the Unconnected

If you are reading this, you probably think you have fairly easy access to the resources, services, and information that you need to stay healthy and safe. That is not true for many of our neighbors in Ventura County and across California, and it may not even be easy for you!

The little girl that your kid sits next to in school might not know where her next meal will come from. The Starbucks barista who just served you might be in a violent relationship with no resources to move out on his own. The elderly woman next door might need an increasing amount of assistance that she cannot afford and has no idea how to begin looking for help.

But here’s the thing: our neighbors are not without resources. Our County has many services available to people in need, and they’re all accessible through dialing 2-1-1 or texting a zip code to 898211.

2-1-1 Ventura County is a FREE Interface program that offers a comprehensive information and referral system. We connect 25,000 Ventura County callers and texters each year to life-giving information about health and human services. We communicate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in English and Spanish, and 150 additional languages through translation services. That’s right. 24/7 in 150 languages. We coordinate with local emergency services to provide up-to-date information for road closures, shelters, or recovery during local crises like the Thomas Fire/Montecito Mudslide, the Hill/Woolsey Fires, the Borderline Bar and Grill incident, and assisted with the Mountain Fire in Redding last week. We also step in to assist other Counties across the country in their 2-1-1 programs during major emergencies like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Camp Fire, and the Las Vegas Route 91 Festival.

Greg Cox, incoming president of the National Association of Counties, seeks to address the problem of “connecting the unconnected” in his tenure with the association. As such, he recently set 2-1-1 at the top of his short-list of “best in class service delivery models and technology that help counties scale best practices.” We think this priority is spot on. Ventura County has a huge range of need. From the poorest of the poor to some of the world’s wealthiest, we can serve our neighbors, no matter who they are or what they need. Help us increase the reach of 2-1-1 by donating and sharing this easy-to-remember number with friends, colleagues, neighbors, and maybe even on your local Starbucks bulletin board. Your donations also go to 2-1-1 technology that helps us collect and analyze data about the needs in our County so that we can better serve the unconnected. Your donations go to staffing 2-1-1 to connect the unconnected exactly when they need connection. Remember: 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898211 to connect the unconnected!

With respect and compassion,

Erik

Erik Sternad
Executive Director

Click here to donate or call (805) 485-6114.

 

Johnathan, a contact specialist, on a 2-1-1 call at Interface’s 2-1-1 contact center which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

 

 

 

2019-08-30T21:05:44+00:00
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