Call Center - Photo courtesy of Unsplash

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a one-year agreement for 211 call center service throughout Riverside County, connecting callers with government agencies and nonprofits that can help them with a variety of needs.

The $60,000 contract with Rancho Cucamonga-based Inland Southern California 211+ is retroactive to Feb. 7 and will expire on Feb. 6, 2023.

The previous 211 call center agreement with Riverside-based Community Connect expired at the start of the year. The five-year compact had been ratified in 2016.

“The 211 system is a three-digit easy-to-remember number that was designated by the Federal Communications Commission to facilitate connection with the local health and human service information providers,” according to a Riverside County Information Technology statement.

“The 211 system provides assistance in connecting people with important resources and volunteer opportunities,” the agency stated. “Advanced technology allows staff to document the details of each call, link callers to vital services and escalate high-risk calls to supervisors immediately by electronic notification.”

Call center specialists are available 24 hours and are trained to refer callers to government offices and nonprofits best able to assist them with obtaining Medi-Cal benefits, veterans aid, food stamps, disability care and free or low-cost transportation.

Specialists are also trained in crisis intervention, much the same as suicide hotline operators, and can additionally field child, dependent adult and senior abuse complaints.

Under the agreement, all calls must be logged, noting callers’ ZIP codes, needs and whether they received referrals.

RCIT officials said Inland Southern California 211+ will be monitored, and officials will evaluate whether the contract should be extended before it expires next winter.

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