JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – A new referral service has made it’s way to Josephine County. Programs like ACCESS, or emergency needs like food pantries or homeless shelters, will now only be a call away.
The 211 program is a system that is in select cities across Oregon. Residents can dial the number to receive information on health and social services.
Callers will speak with a professional who will direct them to the correct providers. This service went online for Jackson County this month and officials say it’s a process that has eliminated financial and emotional burdens.
United Way officials said, currently, one in five residents in Josephine County live below the poverty level. The new program will reduce the time residents spend finding help. A comprehensive computer system will record information provided by community resources.
While the new program will keep their lobby filled, ACCESS officials said it will also help alleviate unnecessary trips. The program currently serves 120,000 callers and 140,000 online visitors every year. 211 operating hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Officials hope to have the program operating throughout the state of Oregon by the end of this year.