Everyone experiences emergencies from time to time. For some Kern County residents, however, each day is a struggle for financial stability and independence. When an emergency hits, they need somewhere to turn for help.
2-1-1 is an easy to remember phone number, connecting individuals with resources in our community: approximately 3,000 nonprofit Kern County organizations, scores of government agencies, and more.
2-1-1 centers are staffed by trained specialists who assess the callers’ needs and refer them to the help they seek including services for rent assistance, food banks, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy, job-training programs and more. 2-1-1 is available 24 / 7 with multilingual capabilities.
2-1-1 Kern County is now available online. 2-1-1 Kern County’s Online Public Resource Directory provides the same information and referral services as calling 2-1-1, but in a self-service format. It’s free, easy to use and available 24/7.
Here in Kern County, 2-1-1 service is provided by Community Action Partnership of Kern with major funding from United Way of Kern County, the County of Kern and First 5 Kern.
National 2-1-1 Website and Service Examples
- Food and Housing Resources: food banks, clothing, housing and rental and mortgage assistance.
- Health Services: access to health care for the uninsured or under-insured, prenatal care, medical information lines.
- Mental Health and Crisis Support: crisis intervention, counseling, substance abuse assessment and treatment.
- Income Support: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) assistance, job training, and education programs.
- Help for Seniors and People with Disabilities: adult day care, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, and transportation.
- Resources for Children and Families: child care, after school programs, family resource centers, and tutoring.
- Emergency and Disaster Response: including information, volunteer screening and charitable contributions options.
2-1-1 Protects Public Safety in Emergencies and Disasters
- Relieves 9-1-1 call volume, allowing faster response to emergency calls.
- When disasters strike, 2-1-1 plays a major role fielding non-emergency calls, which leaves 9-1-1 operators free to handle true emergencies.
- California 2-1-1 operators pitched in to help evacuees from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Read more about it.
- 2-1-1 is in the Federal Bioterrorism Act, part of infrastructure needed for disaster preparedness.
2-1-1 Reduces Taxpayer Costs
- Directs non-emergency calls away from the more costly 9-1-1.
- Efficiently uses limited resources by streamlining the referral process, and reduces costs associated with statewide 800 numbers.
- Achieving statewide 2-1-1 coverage will require approximately $2 million investment in infrastructure, data integration and networking.
- State-wide total annual operating costs estimated at $30 million.
- 2-1-1 will save the state millions annually when fully operational.