CAMARILLO, Calif. - You’ve heard of calling 911 in the event of an emergency, but what about 211? It’s an option many don’t know about and it could help you in a time of need.
211 services 18 counties in California but is based in Camarillo.
A 211 contact specialist acts as a liaison between a caller and the resources they need. This includes housing resources, homeless shelters, and food assistance.
Most recently, the contact center has received 3,000 extra calls for local and out-of-state emergencies, including the Northern California wildfires and even the Las Vegas mass shooting.
“It was just call after call, after call, and it was to the point where I was talking to some families and they were thanking me,” said Call Specialist, Janette Garcia. “At that point, I was like, ‘thank you for calling us and I’m hoping everything works out for you, I’m praying for you’ and I felt comfortable sharing that with them.”
The center answers around 20,000 calls per year and most contact specialists have a background in social services.
If you need assistance, there is also an option to text 211. The service is available in English and Spanish.