This blog post is a departure from my usual musings. I am proud to announce that I was just invited to become a member of the Broward 2-1-1 Board of Directors for 2011-2012. I would like to dedicate today’s post toward discussing this phenomenal organization.
I take great pride in being apart of a profession that is dedicated to helping the little guy. When good people have been injured and, due to the negligence of another, cannot support themselves or their family because of enormous medical bills or after sustaining a permanent injury – they often do not know what to do, lose hope and have no idea where to turn. NKP is able to guide and advocate for these people; to try to guide them towards an outcome that can bring resources and meaning back into their life.
Similarly, 2-1-1 Broward provides those in need with resources to bring hope and meaning back into their life. While I, in my professional capacity, can only focus on those who are injured, 2-1-1 is a resource for just about anyone in need.
There are a dizzying array of government programs, community agencies and non-profit organizations – over a 3,300 in Broward county alone – and all available for those who need their services. The problem is, if you have an important need (say, for example, services to support your special-needs child), would you know which of the over 3,300 organizations to reach out to? Probably not. This is where Broward 2-1-1 comes in: If you live in Broward County (as an aside, the 2-1-1 service is available just about everywhere in Florida), just dial 2-1-1 anytime (24/7/365) and you will be connected to the specific counselor, service provider, or advocate (at the appropriate agency or program) to help you with your exact problem!
Tens of thousands of children (from birth to age 22) have some kind of developmental and/or physical disability. 2-1-1 has highly skilled and trained counselors who are knowledgeable about special-needs issues and services who can refer those to the most appropriate resource available (e.g. hearing testing, learning more about a child’s disability, finding support groups, finding a dentist or doctor that serves children with special needs, etc..)
2-1-1 can connect people to support services to help families (e.g. legal, intervention, financial assistance, basic needs and medical care) on the verge of being homeless and is the first step in finding shelter for those who are homeless (and maintaining contact with those who are on shelter waiting lists).
If it wasn’t for the call I get every morning from 2-1-1, no one would even know I was alive. It’s such a good feeling to know that someone cares. (211 Touchline Service Recipient).
Many senior citizens are finding it harder to afford access to proper nutrition, necessary medications and healthcare. 2-1-1 provides them access to the appropriate programs that can help. In addition, the 2-1-1 Broward Touchline is a free service that offers daily telephone calls for those over 60, who live alone, and need someone to check on them.
is a 24 hour, 7 day a week, free and anonymous telephone helpline for teens that need help or information. Specially trained 2-1-1 counselors listen to their feelings and concerns and help them make positive choices that will support their growth and success.
2-1-1 will also connect children and adolescents with behavioral and addiction counselors, treatment programs, substance-abuse prevention and other behavioral-health services.
In addition, 2-1-1 serves as a crisis and suicide-prevention hotline. Degreed and highly-trained operators are always standing by.
I invite you all to visit www.211-broward.org to learn more and support this important community non-profit organization.