2-1-1 Offers Support for Residents Affected by Government Shutdown
Today is the 25th day of the US Government shutdown, the longest in American history. For those residents in Santa Barbara County who have been impacted by the government shutdown, 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County offers Health and Human Services information and assistance in three ways:
TEXT: Text your zip code to 898-211
In California, an estimated 30,000 furloughed federal employees won’t receive a paycheck this month. On both the state’s 2-1-1 website and at 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County, there is information ranging from financial support offered by companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Wells Fargo, to the status of government programs like the Dept. of Labor, the Veteran’s Administration and the IRS. Site users can search icons to find answers to the most common questions and how to access resources.
Elisa Pardo, Program Manager for 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County says “County residents may quality for support from local programs if their income drops due to the shutdown.” Two of those programs are:
• Community Action Commission provides one-time utility assistance and home weatherization to qualified families, both owners and renters. Call for more information at 805-617-2897.
• Santa Barbara County Federal employees impacted by the government shutdown can receive free food from Food Bank. In Santa Maria at 490 W. Foster Rd. (805) 937-3422. In Santa Barbara at 4554 Hollister Ave. or call (805) 967-5741
Though not well-known by the general public, the 2-1-1 helpline is a national program started in 2000 by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Because 2-1-1 is easy to remember and universally recognizable, it was established as the national dialing code for community information and referral services, enabling a critical connection between people at risk and local health and human service agencies and organizations. 2-1-1 serves over 291 million Americans (93% of the entire population) covering portions of all 50 states, and is available to 96% of all Californians.
In Santa Barbara County 2-1-1 has operated under the auspices of the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) since 2015, with financial support from Santa Barbara County, the City of Santa Barbara, the City of Carpinteria, First Five and the Hutton Parker Foundation.
“Our mission at CAC is to create opportunities for Santa Barbara families to achieve stability,” said Patricia Keelean, CEO, Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County. “2-1-1 Santa Barbara County embodies that mission.”
About 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County
There are more than 2,719 programs and services in Santa Barbara County to help residents during a personal crisis, a difficult family matter or a natural disaster. But how does the public access these resources? 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County answers this question with its personalized referral system, connecting people to health and human services, disaster relief and public information. The helpline is multilingual (150 languages), confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the caller. During the Thomas Fire and Montecito flood/debris flow incident, calls to 2-1-1 increased by 1000% for disaster-related aid and information. More typically, the needs are for mental health and addiction services, housing, legal assistance and public safety.
2-1-1 helpline referrals are tailored to the needs and circumstances of individual callers, taking into account accessibility, eligibility requirements and other factors through live assistance from highly-trained and certified Information & Referral Specialists.
County residents in need, or those who want to help someone who lives in the County, can call or text 2-1-1 with their inquiries (out-of-state residents can call 800 400-1572); there is also vital information available on the easy-to-navigate 2-1-1 website at www.211sbco.org.
About Community Action Commission
Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) creates opportunities for families and individuals to achieve stability through its 22 health and human service programs, including Head Start, Healthy Senior Lunch, Weatherization Assistance, and 2-1-1 Santa Barbara. Established in
1967, CAC serves more than 10,000 people throughout the county each year. It also employs over 400 health, education and social service workers and is one of Santa Barbara County’s largest employers.
Other vital CAC efforts focus on mentoring, education and skill development for children, youth and families. Services offered: child abuse prevention, financial literacy, health education, mental health care for youth, college access, and support for youth in the Juvenile Justice system.
Community Action Commission is a private non-profit agency that leverages support for Santa Barbara County residents through private funding as well as government contracts and grants. More information available at www.cacsb.org and on Facebook: @CAChelps