Tropical Storm Ida popped up in the Caribbean and, although it’s current track is unclear, it reminded me of an informational post I meant to write a while back. I fear this post, like my “foil” post, may contain information that everyone else already knows but I’ve decided to go ahead with it anyway. Maybe it will serve as a reminder or be of some use to you or someone you know. Okay, here goes…
Most folks may be aware that there are a number of charitable organizations out there, but like me, dropping off a donation or a carload of “gently” used items is likely your only contact with these places. You may not be aware of how, when, or for whom they work.
As many of you know, last year I went Texas to help after Hurricane Ike and the number I gave out most to those folks was… 2-1-1. The 2-1-1 service was introduced by the United Way and, in partnership with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, has been implemented in cities across the U.S. and Canada. This service refers callers to services available in their community. According to the website, services vary from community to community but the following is a list of types of services that may be available to you.
Basic Human Needs Resource: food banks, clothing, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance.
Physical and Mental Health Resources: medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention, rehabilitation, health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, children’s health insurance programs.
Employment Support: unemployment benefits, financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs.
Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: home health care, adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, transportation, and homemaker services.
Support for Children, Youth and Families: Quality childcare, Success by 6, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
These services are available to folks no matter if disaster strikes or they just have everyday needs. If you don’t know what services are available in your area, check out the website by clicking on the logo (above right) or click here to find information on the 2-1-1 service available in your area.