Coronavirus Information Added to 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County Helpline

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Source: Community Action Commission

Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County (CAC) announces the following update to one of its health and human service programs that serve county residents. These actions for the 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County helpline are in direct response to the coronavirus outbreak; they are effective immediately and until further notice. 

2-1-1 Santa Barbara County is the centralized information and referral system, connecting people to health and human services, post-disaster relief and public instruction through live assistance from highly-trained and certified Information & Referral Specialists. The helpline is multilingual, confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the caller. 

For county residents in need of COVID-19 information and resources:

• dial 2-1-1 with inquiries (if calling from 805 area code)

• dial 800 400-1572 (if calling from an area code other than 805)

• text zip code to 898-211 to connect with a live call specialist

• visit www.211sbco.org 

“We want the public to know about and make use of this valuable community service but we also want them to know that in a life-threatening emergency, always dial 911,” said Elisa Pardo, Program Manager for 2-1-1 Santa Barbara County.

The 2-1-1 program works directly with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Santa Barbara County Public Health and many other local organizations and agencies to gather, update and house resources and contact information that is then used by accredited call center specialists in their response to calls and texts from the public.

2-1-1 call centers across the nation have been heavily impacted by call volume the past few weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. Callers should expect some delays and extended hold times. “We are adding staff to our 2-1-1 call center as quickly as we can,” said Pardo.

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. 

“In the face of the coronavirus crisis, we didn’t stop carrying out our mission of serving the community,” said Patricia Keelean, CEO of Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County. “Our staff is working tirelessly to continue to deliver services, pivoting to develop new logistics as this pandemic unfolds.” County residents are encouraged to follow CAC on social media to receive regular program updates. Community Action Commission (CAC) is on Twitter @CACSanta Barbara, and on Facebook @cachelps. 

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