Facing First-Time Call Fears

Calling 211 for the first time can feel overwhelming. Who will answer? Should I even be calling 211 for this? What if I don’t know what to ask for – will they understand me?

Currently living in her van on Maui, Mona wanted to apply for food assistance but wasn’t sure where to start. After hearing about the Statewide Helpline on the radio, she figured she might as well give it a try. Mona connected with Kim, a 211 specialist who also lived on the island.

The only internet access Mona had was on her phone,  so Kim texted Mona a link to the application on her phone. Understanding Mona needed immediate food support, the specialist also provided referrals to food pantries nearby. Two locations were available on Maui and Mona was able to go from simply applying for SNAP benefits online to accessing groceries that same week.

Before parting ways, Kim scheduled a follow-up call with Mona to check in after she submitted the application. Mona looked forward to hearing from Kim again and felt relieved that she overcame her initial fears about calling 211.

When you call 211, you connect with a local specialist who will listen, provide support, and help identify the next steps for finding help in your area. Specialists are trained to think of every avenue that can help support you, from resources you can access immediately to long-term assistance programs. No matter what you need, the 211 Statewide Helpline is here to help.