Bob Arnold, representing United Way 211 kicked off our round table discussion on resource directories. The 211 directory is a 9 county, information referral (not case management) system, which can be found on website –http://nefl211.org. It is an accredited resource that is available 24/7 and is marketed on United Way materials. People are trained for 40 – 60 hours before getting on the phone. There is specialized training to support some calls such as the suicide hotline. They are starting a process to do follow up phone calls to make certain that people’s situations have been resolved. During Hurricane Mathew, they worked closely with the EOC and with the First Coast Relief Fund.
Michele Goytia of Episcopal Children’s Services noted that her organization’s resource directory is online and is updated via word of mouth. Her organization works closely with Mercy Support Services. Here’s a link http://www.ecs4kids.org/Pdf%20Files/Com%20Res%20Guides%202010/Clay%20County%2004_2010.pdf
Andrea Hepburn shared that Orange Park Medical Center publishes a pamphlet which includes resources for Duval and Clay County. The book was created by the marketing department to be used by the Case Managers to assist patients when they are looking for services in the community after being discharged from the hospital. The resource guides are also distributed at community events to new families moving to Clay County.
Janey Fox and Frances Elia shared how Mercy Support Services uses its resource directory. When people call in for assistance, volunteers on the help line take the time to probe the full needs of the caller so they can provide a full range of support. The caller is given detailed input on when and how to approach an agency that may be able to provide support. For example, what day of the week or time of the day is best to call. Churches provide support based on zip codes, so it is pointless to just call around randomly. Mercy Support Services advocates a case management approach and therefore does not distribute its resource directory.
Callan Bell explained the Link program of the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida. It is an online compilation of nonprofit 990 forms, and hence is a great reference source where you can sort in multiple ways to find out more about nonprofits in Clay County.
Amy Parker told us about the Reinhold Foundation directory. It is updated online by the respective organizations. It includes a description of the organization, people to contact, and keywords that can be used to search. See if your organization’s info is up to date: http://reinhold.net/directoryofservices.php
The group discussed that maybe it is okay to have duplication of directories because of the different populations being served. However, resource Guides need to be updated. Perhaps volunteers could help.
It was suggested that there could be links through the county website, and in particular the library site. Our library representative noted that this is probably not going to happen because of liability issues.
We need to tap community partners so that social workers and helping departments could use these resources before individuals find themselves in an emergency situation.
Regarding the Orange Park Medical Center Guide, it was suggested to add the following information: The Non-Profit and Reinhold link. Also, have hard copies available at libraries, government buildings, Clay Chamber, senior centers and/or hospitals.
In conclusion, the group wants to meet again in February (24th) to dig deeper into innovative approaches to deal with our multiple resource directories. Community Partners should be invited to the next meeting and everyone should bring a list of those who could assist with getting the word out. Connecting with Leadership Clay and have some Training Workshops were specific suggestions to consider.