‘Building a stronger community’

Celebrating national 2-1-1 Day and the organizations that help advance the common good

The author, a Chico resident and Chico State graduate, is an information and referral outreach specialist at Butte 2-1-1.

As we celebrate national 2-1-1 Day on Feb. 11, it is a good time to recognize our community’s support of each other, and to renew our collective willingness to advance the common good.

Last year in Butte County, nearly 7,000 people sought help by calling 2-1-1, an information and referral telephone service. They called to find shelter and housing, financial assistance, food, mental health services and other essential support. They also called for general information such as free family events and public transportation, as well as specific things, such as legal assistance. When people call 2-1-1, they reach a caring and trained information specialist who assesses their needs and offers information and options. This number connects people in need to free and low-cost community services every day.

Here’s just one example of how Butte 2-1-1 helps families in our community: A single mom of two young children lost her job and was on the verge of homelessness. Her situation was critical; she was in need of diapers and clothing for her children, and clothing for a job interview she had lined up. A specialist referred her to several local programs that offer this assistance. In following up with this mom, I learned that she was able to get all three of her immediate needs met. She also received gas money to get to her job interview.

That caring help is a reflection of our community’s values and the dedicated work of all the staff at 2-1-1 and the community organizations that serve our neighbors. In partnership with hundreds of service providers throughout Butte County, 2-1-1 is helping individuals and families find concrete support for basic needs.

On Feb.11, take one small action to support 2-1-1 and your neighbors in Butte County: Share the number with someone in need. Using it is as simple as dialing 2-1-1 or texting your ZIP code to 898211. And learn more about Butte 2-1-1 and the role it plays in building a stronger community by visiting Butte211.org.

Together, we’re making Butte County a place where all families and individuals can thrive.