2-1-1: The Number to Know
COOPER - Do you know what the number is to dial, when you don’t know who to call? It is 2-1-1.
Adam Teer, Executive Director of 2-1-1 Texas and CANHelp in Sulphur Springs, gave an in depth presentation on how the agencies work.
“From Jan. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2011, 2-1-1 Texas North East Region answered 25,227 calls,” stated Teer on his staff of four, directing the audience to his statistical pie graphs recording their annual report of calls by city.
2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous information and referral service that connects Texans with health and human service programs. Callers speak with trained call specialists to find out more about local community services. The 2-1-1 Texas North East Texas region services residents of Hopkins, Delta, Lamar, Franklin, Titus, Red River, Morris, Cass and Bowie counties. Of the 203 call received in Delta, 157 came from Cooper, 23 from Pecan Gap, 16 from Klondike, four from Ben Franklin and three from Lake Creek.
“This number [2-1-1] is not just income specific; it is for anybody,” added Teer. “We like to think beyond the statistics. These are people with needs. With each call, we ask, ‘What can we do?”
The program has spent the last 10 years in Texas helping make connections. With help and support, Teer would like to bring more involved services to Delta County, similar to those provided in Sulphur Springs, focusing on what is needed.
“We think we can pull it off,” he said with a positive outlook. “The beauty of our program is we have local people answering the phones.”
At their Sulphur Springs location at 613 Gilmer Street, citizens can find a food pantry, school supplies, car seats, tutoring, mentoring programs etc. But callers can also find other useful information from tax preparation to voting, state benefits, community shelters, housing authorities, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment as well as advocacy. They even provide Dave Ramsey’s financial class in exchange for free help.
CANHelp’s mission is to serve the population by consistently recognizing areas of unmet needs among the citizens in our county and surrounding region, treating those in need with love and compassion and providing people with the tools, knowledge or services that will assist them in becoming perpetually self sufficient and the people that God predestined them to be.
These agencies are looking for interested people.
“We are a private, non-profit community service agency,” said Teer. “We offer love and compassion. We are doing God’s work in our community.”
To find out more on each agency visit www.211texas.org or www.canhelponline.org. You can also call 903-885-9797. 2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need.
Whether by phone or internet, the goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from over 60,000 state and local health and human services programs. Information and referral is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Information can be provided in over 90 different languages.
Teer encourages citizens to call 2-1-1 and find out for themselves exactly what free information is available.