Caller Stories 2017 & 2018

Help for Woman Who Left an Abusive Relationship

A woman called 211 looking for multiple services including food, financial help, divorce law, a personal support worker (PSW) and housing help. She had recently left an abusive relationship and was feeling overwhelmed by her situation. The I&R Specialist provided referrals for each of the caller’s needs, as well as the Assaulted Women’s Helpline and in-person counselling programs. Upon follow up, the I&R Specialist confirmed the woman was getting help from the referrals provided. The woman indicated that she was satisfied with the services and already had a mental health worker in place. A warm transfer was provided to the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) to inquire about a PSW support.


Prosthesis for Senior

A 79-year-old man whose only income was Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan, called 211 looking for financial assistance to purchase a prosthesis. He was referred to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Assistive Device Program (ADP) and War Amps. 211 would advocate and contact the local St. Vincent de Paul and Lions Club to see if they could assist with the outstanding balance. Both of the local charities were willing to assist with the balance owing once. A 211 Community Navigator provided a letter of support for the callers. On following up, we found out that the ADP program would provide $2,796.75 and War Amps $1000. St Vincent de Paul provided $400 and Lions Club paid $379.79, thus paying for the prosthetics in full. Caller was extremely thankful and that he would certainly call 211 again if he needed any other assistance.


Kindly Landlord Helps Terminally ill Tenant Get Services Through 211

A landlord called with concerns about a tenant, with very limited income, who had recently been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The landlord shared her concerns about the individual, as he had decided against medical treatment and had no family or friends for support. Following an assessment, 211 provided referrals to the Canadian Cancer Society, Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Canadian Mental Health Association’s Support Coordination Service. During a 211 initiated follow-up call, it was the confirmed that the landlord was able to connect her tenant to CMHA who was now providing ongoing service coordination and support to the terminally ill patient.


211 Helps a Family Access the Community’s Generosity During the Holidays

A man called during the Christmas Season and requested help. He had already been to his Community Centre, but there were no longer accepting registrations for The Caring and Sharing Exchange/Toy Mountain programs; however, the worker suggested calling 211. The client mentioned that he needed help because his child tax benefit payments were discontinued since he had not filed his income taxes. The I&R Specialist connected the caller with the Hamper Program Toy Mountain’s Toy Centre and a local income tax clinic. The client was relieved that he would get the help he needed.


211 Helps Newcomer to Thunder Bay Connect with Health and Social Supports

A stressed woman called 211 feeling overwhelmed with her recent move to Northern Ontario. She indicated that she was hesitant to relocate in the first place because of her many health issues and was now missing the company and support of her family and friends. The 211 Specialist connected her with the local distress centre and followed up with her the next day. During the follow up conversation it became clear that the caller needed help with mental health issues, as well as medical services. The 211 Specialist referred the caller to the Community Health Centre, located not only close to her home, but a service that services people who have a higher risk of poor health, offering programs that consider social, emotional and financial needs of its clients. Its team features family physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, counsellors, dietitians and community health workers. The caller was happy to hear that its programming also includes recreational activities for seniors and volunteer opportunities that would help her meet new people in the community.


211 Helps Low Income Senior Get Financial Help for Dentures

A senior woman whose only source of income is the Canada Pension Plan called 211 looking for some help to pay for new dentures. She was referred to Ontario Works for some discretionary funding and it was suggested to talk to her banks about a line of credit or a loan, since she owns her own home. On following-up, the 211 Specialist found out that she had been provided with an application for funding and had an appointment with a local agency to get help filling in the application. She said the 211 Specialist was “very helpful” and that would definitely call 211 again if she needed any other assistance.


211 South West Helps Caller Save Her Home From Rodent Infestation

A woman on the Ontario Disability Support Program called 211 because she had been dealing with a rodent infestation in her home and didn’t know where to turn. She already had one pest control company program provide some service, but this did not resolve the problem. She could not afford to pay for an exterminator again and could not take care of the situation on her own due to her disability. She was only eating once a day to pay off this unexpected expense.

The 211 Specialist referred her to a local program that provides funding when people are denied assistance elsewhere or when their need does not fit into typical assistance program guidelines. When the 211 Specialist called this woman back, she was delighted to report the local agency to which she had been referred agreed to cover the cost of the outstanding pest control bill and pay any additional expenses needed to resolve the issue for up to six months, if required. The woman had been ready to walk away from her home, which she owns, due to the negative impacts it was having on her health. However, because of the call to 211 and the help provided by a flexible and innovative funding program, she was able to stay.


211 Eastern Region’s Listening Skills Connect Caller with Supports

A caller who lives on social assistance was looking for help paying their utility bills because they had been off work for so long. While the 211 Specialist was searching for their local program, the caller shared they had been sick so long because they had a rare blood disease that makes it impossible to work for any length of time. The 211 Specialist was also able to offer the caller information on a national support organization for that specific disease of which the caller was unaware. Active listening skills meant the 211 Specialist was able to offer the caller an additional resource for support with their condition.


211 Central South Connects a Caller with a Local Church’s Benevolent Fund

An individual called 211 on a Friday identifying a need for financial assistance to purchase of over-the-counter medication. The caller shared that he had been sick, vomiting and unable to eat for days. His source of income was Ontario Works, he had no valid health card and ID (he was in the process of replacing it). He further shared that he had used his last 50 cents to call 211. In order for our caller to receive the financial support for the medication available from Ontario Works, he would need to provide a doctor’s note but he was not able to obtain one without a valid health card. An advocacy call to a health centre in his community revealed there was a 6-month waiting list for him to get in. Concentrated research via the 211 database found a church in his community with a small benevolent fund to help individuals (considered on a case-by-case basis).  Our 211 Community Navigator reached out and spoke to the Pastor, who recommended that she meet the caller at a local pharmacy to purchase medication and provide him with funds to get through the weekend. Our follow up with the Pastor indicated that the medication and funds were provided to the caller, as well as some information about other support options in the community. The caller was also able to provide his contact information to the church for possible work in the future.


211 Central East Helps Identify Resources for Mother of Four

A mother of four called 211 requesting assistance accessing mental health counselling. 211’s Community Navigator reviewed what steps had been taken so far by the caller, discussed various options for services and conducted a financial assessment to help determine the most appropriate options. The Community Navigator determined that the caller was married and had access to an Employee Assistance Program through her husband’s work. The EAP would cover the costs of counselling, but the services were only available during the day when her preschool-aged child was home. Once the Community Navigator determined it was child care the caller needed, she was able to connect the caller to two child care facilities that offered occasional and same day programs.


211 Central Helps Youth Find Temporary Housing Until New Apartment is Ready

A young man called 211 seeking emergency housing in York Region. He had recently been evicted as the owner of the property had sold the house. He had managed to find new housing but was unable to move in for another three days. He spoke about his situation and as expected was upset about having nowhere safe to sleep. The caller identified himself as having mental health challenges and mentioned he was taking medication that made him extremely drowsy. He had been falling asleep in the park but didn’t feel safe there, and the police kept asking him to leave. He also hadn’t been able to change his clothes and was hoping to get a pair of shoes.

The youth was unable to make any further calls as his phone battery was almost depleted. The 211 Community Navigator offered to make the calls and find a shelter and transportation on his behalf, so he provided his location and cell number. The 211 Navigator went forward with securing him a bed at a youth shelter. The Street Outreach Van was then contacted and they agreed to pick him up and transport him to the shelter. They also said they had some clothing and personal hygiene items on board the van that he could have. 211’s navigator called back and was happy to tell him everything was arranged and that the van would there within the hour.

211 North Connects Youth with Money Management Programs to Manage Student Loan

Having recently received his OSAP payment, a post-secondary student called 211, worried he would spend his living allowance both inappropriately and prematurely. The I&R Specialist referred him to a program that helps people gain control of their finances and put together a budget for basic living expenses. The Specialist later followed up, and learned the caller had connected with the service in his area. He said that he learned a blot about budgeting and budget-related management tools, and that he now feels more comfortable and confident about managing his finances.

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