By Meg Storer.

2-1-1 San Diego/Imperial recently celebrated the grand opening of the 2-1-1 Connections Center, the state-of-the-art facility equipped with incubator space to foster greater collaboration among community partners to create new and improved ways to better serve the community and expand a 2-1-1 person-centric model.

2-1-1 serves the residents of San Diego and Imperial Counties as the region’s trusted access point to more than 6,000 community, health, and disaster support services in 200 languages and dialects, 24 hours a day. 2-1-1 understands the needs of San Diego and Imperial and 2-1-1’s robust data offers vital information and trend reports for proactive community planning to help local government, business, and nonprofit leaders make informed funding and planning decisions.

Utilizing the latest technology to provide an “omni channel” service that includes a free call line, searchable online database, text, chat, and social media, making 2-1-1 accessible to every individual in need. With every 2-1-1 connection, accurate and timely information about food assistance, health-related resources, legal services, housing, senior services, substance abuse assistance, child care and parenting resources, utility assistance, military and veterans services, and so much more with the respect and dignity they deserve.

2-1-1’s mission is to “connect people to services and provide vital data trend information for proactive community planning,” with the approach of providing comprehensive and collaborative services has been commended as the model for information and referral agencies across the country. With a $10 million budget, 90% of revenues coming from fee for service contracts, and a team of 150 staff, 2-1-1 San Diego is one of the largest 2-1-1 contact centers like it in the nation.

For the past 10 years, 2-1-1 and the County of San Diego have worked side by side to provide a better and more efficient service of care for individuals and families in our region. This public-private partnership has been the lever that has lifted our service community to a new level of excellence in areas such as access to public benefit programs, healthcare, military and veterans services, and even disaster information.

Enrollment Services: Partnering with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the County of San Diego, 2-1-1 San Diego’s Enrollment Center helps people enroll in several programs over the telephone, saving time and resources and eliminating barriers to in-person enrollment. Certified specialists educate clients about available benefit programs, compares options, and completes applications for CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Covered California over the phone and directly submits applications to the County and State.

2-1-1’s Health Navigation Program: 2-1-1 San Diego/Imperial assists clients with health-related needs, providing comprehensive needs assessment, health education, case planning, advocacy, connection to resources, and ongoing care coordination.

Military and Veteran Services: Courage to Call: In partnership with the County of San Diego and several local nonprofit organizations, funded in part by Mental Health Services Act dollars, 2-1-1 operates San Diego’s peer-to-peer talk and chat line serving as the single access point for information, referrals, navigation, and ongoing care coordination for active duty military, veterans, and their families.

Disaster Response: Partnering with the County’s Office of Emergency Services, 2-1-1 serves as the public’s non-emergency, disaster information during times of disaster or emergency.

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Originally posted at the California State Association of Counties.