Benefits of 2-1-1

Benefits for Individual Citizens

The benefit for individual citizens is that it reduces frustration by saving time and saving transportation costs locating health and human services available in their community. Additionally, the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialist can provide the caller with each agencies’ hours of operation and any applicable intake procedures or documentation required, thus assisting the caller for one trip to the agency that can best assist with their need.

The 2-1-1 Colorado database holds information for more than 11,000 health and human services and programs.

 

Benefits for Employers

Studies show that on average, people call between 11 – 13 agencies before they find the agency that can best assist them with their need. Employers will realize improved workplace productivity as their staff can dial 2-1-1 to find the health and human services information and referrals they may need, with one phone call.

Additionally, you may have an employee at your agency that is fielding calls from the public looking for services you don’t provide, instead of doing intake for appropriate clients who can benefit from your services. Referring clients to 2-1-1 for services you don’t provide can reduce the ultimate cost of your services.

 

Benefits for Providers of Human Services, Planners and Funders

With more accurate and timely client referrals from 2-1-1, the ultimate cost of services can be reduced thus increasing the impact of program funding. Providers are able to spend more time with clients who can benefit from their services and less time with clients who would need to be directed to other service/agencies that can best meet their need.

With 2-1-1 as the first single point of contact, 2-1-1 can be an “early warning system” for emerging health and human service needs.

2-1-1 can be the social barometer providing accurate, unbiased, real-time information about community needs and service gaps.

 

Reduced Burden on 9-1-1

In communities without 2-1-1, people inadvertently call 9-1-1 for assistance to report people living on the street, to find emergency shelter, for mental health reasons, etc. 2-1-1 can provide that information to the community, enabling 9-1-1 to focus their time and resources to helping those in life or death or crisis situations.

Additionally, 9-1-1 receives a lot of calls that are known as “nuisance calls.” Those are calls from people wanting to know what the Bronco’s score was, or whether something they had in the freezer for a year is still OK to eat. People just don’t know where to go for information. Although 2-1-1 is not the appropriate place to go with those questions either, no one is put in harms way by tying up the 9-1-1 dispatcher and having people with a genuine emergency being put on hold.

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