Saturday will mark National 211 Day, honoring the call center teams and all affiliated personnel for their roles in connecting communities to resources and services.
In Tuesday morning’s Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting, Chrisse Jones, Chief Operating Officer at Connecting Point, spoke on behalf of her organization in front of the board, alongside Lindsay Gordon, 211 Program Manager. The board voted unanimously to adopt the February 11 recognition of 211’s services.
Serving both Nevada and Placer counties, 211 is a referral call center that is but one facet of Connecting Point, striving to aid residents in obtaining services and assistance when a call to 911 may not be necessary. Connecting Point is celebrating its 20th year in operation.
“911 is essentially emergency dispatch, so when life or property is at imminent risk and you need police or fire intervention, 911 is the place to call,” said Meri Mohr, Director of Human Resources for Connecting Point. “For 211 we are good for nonemergency disaster information. That’s when people are seeking shelter, evacuation, transportation, and road closures. They can call us instead.
“We do also help the public on a day-to-day basis in blue skies navigate any urgent needs such as healthcare or food. We can help everyone from the elderly to families with young children and we have a large database of programs with our communities to advise them on.”
211 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and typically handles around 100 calls per day in Nevada and Placer counties, respectively.
“211 as a call sign is a national number,” Mohr continued. “There’s 211 all across the nation to help people navigate services. Our 211 is local to Nevada and Placer so we are part of a collaboration across California and across the nation. (211 Day) is nationwide campaign to inform the public on 211 and to thank our call agents and resource specialists who are at the phones 24/7.”
Recently Connecting Point and 211 have recognized the greater need for disaster prevention and public messaging, guiding those affected by natural disaster to helpful resources and mitigation.
Mohr added that 211’s call center agents are trained to assist and are dedicated to the wellbeing of the community and its residents.
“I think if there’s anything I would like our community to know about 211 is the passion and compassion that our call agents have for serving the community wherever they’re at,” she said.
“You either have a question about how to meet a need, or you can have a conversation with our call agents to find the services best for you. If people have questions about how they can prepare (for an emergency) our call agents would be happy to provide. We know wildfire season is just around the corner and we want to make sure our community feels supported.”
Nevada County residents can access 211 by calling 2-1-1 (or 1-833-DIAL211; for TTY 1-844-521-6697; by texting their zip code to 898211 (your text plan’s rates will apply); or visiting 211ConnectingPoint.org to access the online searchable database and email or chat with specialists.