PG&E gives $550K to 211 disaster communication service
INQUIRER.NET U.S. Bureau
May 21, 2020 at 6:59 am

SAN FRANCISCO–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is continuing its sponsorship of the Interface Children & Family Services 211 program (211) to help support communities in times of disaster.

211 is a free, confidential calling and texting service that helps people across California find the local health and social service resources they need. Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and nearly 200 other languages via interpreter service.

PG&E’s sponsorship enables the expansion of 211’s 24/7 disaster support coverage to all 58 counties within California.

This sponsorship will help extend 211 coverage to all 58 California counties, 18 of which were previously unserved by 211, connecting more Californians to health information, social services and referrals through a comprehensive resource database via call specialists and texting.

PG&E’s enhanced commitment brings the total sponsorship to $550,000 over the two-year period from 2019 through 2020.

“Our ability to adapt our workforce to meet the pressing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic wouldn’t have been possible to sustain without the support of PG&E,” said Erik Sternad, Executive Director of Interface Children & Family Services, which oversees the 211 response across 41 California counties.

The 211 service plays a critical role in providing information and support during the current Covid-19 pandemic, as well as in times of disasters including wildfires and Public Safety Power Shutoff events, helping to relieve non-emergency calls to 911.

Text COVID19 to 211211 to receive information and updates, or, call 211.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, trained 211 specialists are answering questions about available community services, providing information on disease prevention, connecting those in need to local community clinics, and more.

Since March, over 180,000 Californians found answers to Covid-19 pandemic questions from 211; 40,000 people have used the 211211 texting service. The most frequent inquiries relate to finding reliable sources of information on unemployment benefits, income loss, assistance with food, location and availability of testing, and assistance with rent.

To respond to the increased volume related to the Covid-19 pandemic, 211 has more than doubled its staff while moving to an entirely remote work posture. To get the information and support you need regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, dial 211 from your phone or text the keyword “Covid19” to 211211.

To learn more about 211’s disaster support, visit www.211.org.

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