When storms or wildfires hit San Diego, the message from politicians and TV announcers is clear: Call 2-1-1 San Diego for help.
But the nonprofit best known for disaster response has a broader mission. Whereas calling 911 connects callers with emergency workers, 2-1-1 connects callers with social service agencies that address homelessness, poverty, health issues and countless other needs.
The nonprofit’s growth has exploded over the last decade, and it’s now looking to expand its reach even further.
2-1-1 San Diego holds a slew of county, state and local contracts, including with other nonprofits, to aid 1,200 callers a day with everything from CalFresh food stamp applications to referrals to health care or veterans’ groups.
Since the 2007 wildfires, which helped draw more contracts and local awareness for the agency, 2-1-1’s gone from an organization of less than two-dozen employees to more than 140. Its budget has more than tripled in that time to more than $9 million.
In more recent years, the Kearny Mesa-based nonprofit’s been invited to weigh in more in local conversations about homelessness and food insecurity.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I just experienced a helpful call to 2-1-1. I jotted down the categories such as age which will help me in future when I call to find a resource for someone. The agent was courteous and asked intelligent questions. I am a little worried that your laudable intention to compile personal data to help non-profits better serve clients will have an unintentional result. Could someone find themselves excluded from one non-profit if another non-profit has a negative experience with them?
Hi @Irene Grumman, Thank you for calling 2-1-1, we are so glad you had a positive experience with our staff and our service. You pose a valuable question about sharing client information across nonprofits and possible negative results. Your concern is valid; the intent is not to share information about a non-profits experience with a client, but instead to share only information that is required for a service provider to coordinate care for the client as part of a community care plan. In addition, client information will only be shared with their consent. Our goal is to provide a client-centric approach so individuals and families are receiving the best care in the region. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you in more detail. Please feel free to contact me at CIE@211sandiego.org.