IRMA: 211 service helping hurricane victims find resources they need

By Fallon Silcox, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, September 18, 2017, 11:34 AM EDT

As residents in the Bay Area work to regain some normalcy, many people may find themselves in need of some help. 

The United Way Network 211 service is a great resource, whether you're looking for help or just want to help others in need. 

If you need help, you can call 211 and talk to one of their representatives directly, or you can start a web chat and they can help you find shelter, food, water, or whatever you may need. 

"211 is there 24/7, 365. You have trained professionals skilled that are there to help you get on the path for what you need for recovery," Larry Olness with Strategic Enterprises said. 

Olness works out of the 211 call center that serves the Central Florida area. He said call centers like that one are set up and ready to help Hurricane Irma victims across the state. 

"You are talking to individuals who are compassionate, passionate, and empathetic," Olness said. 

211 is primarily funded through the United Way, and while it doesn't actually provide any services itself, it serves as the go-between to help you find the right service that you need. 

"It can help them identify what their needs are, as you can imagine when you have this type of event, there are a lot of things going on, do you go here, do you go there, where do you start, so you help them identify what the most important need is that can be met and that helps them identify the resource for that," he said. 

If you need help, 211 officials ask that you please be patient, as they are inundated with calls for help right now from Hurricane Irma victims. 

In the Orlando call center, they typically take 700 calls between Monday and Friday, and right now, they are taking over 7,000. 

If you need assistance, or more information on 211, click here