211 WNY Is Connecting the Community to Health Resources
As Western New York and the world continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for health and human services keeps growing. One popular local resource is 211 WNY, a free and confidential service that connects residents to information about basic needs, food assistance, tax preparation, holiday assistance, housing, job training, legal counseling, mental health services, substance abuse services, volunteer opportunities, and more.
Covering seven local counties — Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming — 211 WNY is available 24/7 by dialing 211 or 888-696-9211. (Text 211 by texting your ZIP Code to 716-898-211, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.)
Kelly Dodd, 211’s Director of Contact Center Services, says the service has seen increasing demand for assistance due to COVID-19. “Calls to 211 increased 40% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and 2021 is looking to exceed that,” she says.
Dodd says the most highly sought services include:
- Food: “Both emergency food support, such as food pantries, and food delivery services.”
- Housing: “This includes rent assistance, landlord/tenant conflict resolution, and eviction prevention services.”
- COVID-related needs: “Early on it was masks and PPE (personal protective equipment), then testing, now vaccines. 211 is making appointments for the Niagara County Health Department Vaccination Clinics.”
- Financial supports and service navigation: “For many, this is the first time they’ve needed to seek help from nonprofits or government. They don’t know about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), or temporary assistance from the Department of Social Services, or where to find supports in the community. You don’t know what you don’t know! 211 Community Resource Specialists will help someone navigate the systems and share services they didn’t even know existed.”
- Emotional support: “This has been a stressful, isolating time for everyone. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to someone besides the person you’ve been stuck with 24/7.”
Those who have never called 211 or utilized its services can expect to “talk to a real live person who will help you identify your needs and offer resources in the community that can help,” Dodd says. “With the increase in need and calls, sometimes there’s a bit of a wait to talk to someone, so take advantage of the callback feature so you’re not waiting on hold. The callback option keeps your place in line and calls you when it’s your turn.”
Most importantly, she stresses that 211 WNY is a 24/7 option for anyone who believes there might be assistance out there for their unique situation.
“When you need help and don’t know where to start, call 211,” Dodd says.
Niagara Co. DOH partnering with 211 WNY to provide more access to Point of Dispensing vaccine preregistration
NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)– The Niagara County Department of Health says they’ve partnered with 211 Western New York to make sure those with limited or no internet are able to access the county’s Point of Dispensing COVID-19 vaccine preregistration.
211 WNY allows those that cannot access the internet to dial on their telephone 2-1-1 or 888-696-9211 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. seven days a week to get connected to services in their community.
In an effort to get the vaccine distributed to those who qualify, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness Elise Pignatora says this partnership is important.
“While our Point of Dispensing (POD) operations remain pre-registration only, it is important that we partner with agencies such as 211 to ensure those with limited or no access to the internet are able to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine if eligible.”Elise Pignatora, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness, Niagara County Department of Health
“This partnership will additionally help those 65 and older who are now eligible for vaccine but are encountering difficulty in registering for an appointment at one of our PODs.”Daniel J. Stapleton, Public Health Director, Niagara County Department of Health
For more information about Niagara County’s Point of Dispensing efforts, click here.
Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Sours: https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/niagara-county/niagara-co-doh-partnering-with-211-wny-to-provide-more-access-to-point-of-dispensing-vaccine-preregistration/
6 Reasons Western New Yorkers Should Use 211WNY
211 WNY is WNY’s lifeline for help.
In a crisis, in a disaster, in a pandemic, 211 WNY is here to help every person in our community find food, pay bills, and connect to other essential services. Our 211 is part of a national network, United to help as many people as possible. In fact, 211 WNY is a critical part of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.
Here’s why you should use this vital service—and let others know about it, too.
1. 211 provides connections to many kinds of resources and services, including:
- Crisis and emergency counseling for mental health concerns, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking
- Disaster assistance
- Financial assistance, literacy, and coaching
- Health care and insurance assistance
- Stable housing and utility payment assistance
- Unemployment services
- Veteran services
- Child care and family services
2. Our 211 WNY specialists are amazing listeners! 211 does more than “patch people through” to agencies. Instead, every call is answered by a real person, a caring expert who offers comfort, hope, and solutions - from the first hello to the final connection to help.
3. 211 WNY is simple and convenient to use. The service is free, confidential, and accessible 24/7/365. It’s also available in more than 180 languages.
4. There’s more than one way to use 211 WNY. You can dial 2-1-1 on your phone and speak to a trained 211 specialist. Or you can browse local resources on 211wny.org. The service is also available by text. Simply text your zip code to 898-211 to get started.
5. 211 WNY tackles problems at the roots. In fact, 211 WNY specialists are trained to identify and address the underlying root causes of a client’s problem – and connect them with a wide range of available resources that meet all the underlying needs, not just the one that prompted the call, text, or email.
6. 211 WNY helps over 60,000 people in WNY each year, many of them just like you. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, calls to our local 211 have increased nearly 50% from the previous year. 211 WNY is available to help anyone, no matter their situation, income level, or their gender, age, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Learn more and get help by visiting 211wny.org. And share this information with as many people as possible, so everyone in WNY knows where to turn for help.
Niagara County partners with 211 WNY to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccine
LOCKPORT, N.Y. — The Niagara County Health Department is doing its part to help those with limited or no internet access find and make appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The department is partnering with 211 Western New York to provide Point of Dispensing COVID-19 Pre-Registration access.
“This partnership will additionally help those 65 and older who are now eligible for vaccine but are encountering difficulty in registering for an appointment at one of our PODs,” stated Daniel J. Stapleton, Public Health Director.
211 WNY is a communications platform that provides a single spot for those seeking information and services.
“211 is proud to partner with the Niagara County Department of Health, supporting registrations for the County’s PODs by phone 8 a.m.-8 p.m., 7 days a week. Since COVID-19 hit WNY, 211 has experienced a surge in requests for assistance from families and individuals struggling to meet basic needs including food, PPE, housing and rent assistance, and mental health services; helping with vaccination registration is a natural fit,” said Kelly Dodd, Director of Contact Center Services.
More information, for those with internet access, about the Niagara County Point of Distribution sites, including eligibility and registration, can be found here.
211 WNY is your free and confidential link to health and human services.
Every day, across Western New York, people just like you are looking for help.
211 WNY is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
24/7 x 365
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Much appreciated, I'd be lost without it. I've used 211 even before it was open 24/7.
- Frequent 211 WNY Caller
"211 WNY provides a critical communications platform that allows the Help Me Grow community partnership to successfully link families with young children to needed local resources. 211 is a single access point for individuals seeking information and services to keep children healthy and developing on track, as well as services that benefit the entire family."
- Lynn Pullano, Director of Help Me Grow WNY
"211 WNY is a valuable resource for the WNY community and one which our residents have come to rely on. United Way of Buffalo & Erie County is proud to support this initiative and believes fully in the mission of 211 WNY to offer help when it is needed the most."
- Michael Weiner, President & CEO United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
"Excellent service, very polite and professional. Thank you!"
- Heather H.
“211 WNY is the best kept secret around!”
- A 211 Frequent Caller
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