Monday, August 5, 2013

Institute for Human Services: 2-1-1 Helpline Quarterly Newsletter

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Quarterly Newsletter

Find Hundreds of Local Volunteer Opportunities

The 2-1-1 HELPLINE Give Help database has hundreds of local volunteer opportunities.  Go and click Give Help to search the online database, or simply dial 2-1-1 and a call specialist will assist you. 

If you are interested in having your volunteer opportunities on the database, either register online or contact

Featured Volunteer Opportunities

It's More than Stuffing Envelopes!  Learn more at this volunteer administrator workshop...

How to Effectively Define Volunteers and Develop Criteria
Stephanie Bates, from ProAction Inc., will be presenting on the importance of job descriptions, volunteer handbooks, and interview procedures.  This will be a two hour training on September 26th in Corning.  We hope to see you there!

Save the Date for our Volunteer Conference!

Our volunteer conference will beWednesday, November 13 at the beautiful Corning Museum of Glass.  Shirley Brown, coach, mediator and program specialist, will be the keynote speaker.  Keep a look out for the conference brochure and registration within the next month!

Questions about the conference? Contact us.

Bridges Out of Poverty

It has been 34 months since the 
Bridges Out of Poverty Coalition formed in Steuben County.
Provider Online readers may be familiar with the Bridges Out of Poverty Initiative that has been building over the past few years. Its approach helps employers, community organizations, social service agencies, and individuals address poverty in a comprehensive way. 2-1-1 HELPLINE helping its Getting Ahead graduates find opportunities for stronger connections with a wide variety of community supports. We will have more information about this in our next edition.

Thinking about helping a Getting Ahead Graduate?  Become an Ally.

Did you know?

Did you know you can find another  2-1-1 anywhere in the country at

Many visitors find us, the national database of
2-1-1 providers. We use the site quite often, for callers who reach us from other states (they find our website online) or for callers in our counties who need to find resources in another area. 

2-1-1 HELPLINE is Supported By...

2-1-1 HELPLINE is supported in part by: Steuben & Chemung County Departments of Social Services, United Way of the Southern Tier, Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc., Allegany County United Way, NYS Office of Children and Family Services and Member Agencies of The Institute for Human Services, Inc.


Message from the Director

July just flew by and it's August already!  While the Summer Food Service Programs are still underway, we are now hoping to generate some publicity around the region's school supply drives. Without getting too high on a soap box, I do believe that educating our children and young adults is a key component of "quality of life," influencing future economic strength and self-sufficiency. School supplies (paper, pens, crayons, notebooks and the inevitable backpack) may seem incidental, but going without is surely a problem.

Feel free to contact us if you know of any opportunity for us to increase awareness of 2-1-1 HELPLINE - we can provide information for or attend a staff meeting, or an announcement in your newsletter. As traffic increases on the 2-1-1 HELPLINE Give Help volunteer clearinghouse (both via the website and with callers), it is important that community agencies' opportunities are accurate and up-to-date.

Also, due to staff changes within the Institute, we have an opening for a Community Information & Resource Specialist - check out the opening.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

~Carol Wood, Director 2-1-1 HELPLINE

Military & Veteran Appreciation Event

wg event 
Carol Wood attended the Military & Veteran Appreciation Event at Watkins Glen this year, talking with hundreds of people about IHS programs and services and spreading the word about 2-1-1 HELPLINE. Since we knew that attendees would be there from counties/states outside our territory, we also, for accessing all 2-1-1's across the country.

2-1-1 Calls Handled Across the Country in 2012

15,823,935 2-1-1 calls were made across the country, asking about basic needs: food, shelter, and temporary financial assistance.
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Taxonomy Terms and How They Work

There are 9,787 taxonomy terms!

2-1-1 HELPLINE follows national standards established by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, our professional association. For example, many of the standards address the I&R database; the "taxonomy" or the classification system we use is used across the country by information and referral providers to organize each record in the database and log each call. It utilizes six levels of detail and a total of nearly 10,000 individual terms. This means that we can compare our work to national or regional call volume and community agencies, making it possible to follow trends, provide back-up support during a crisis or disaster or understand our community's needs compared to other data such as the rate of families in poverty. Our records are classified to the level of detail that meets the IHS mission - more detailed for transportation-related resources for example, and less for international service. The 211US Big Count (displayed above), is a compilation of all 
2-1-1 calls across the country and the categories reflect the taxonomy system.

Veterans Can Dial 2-1-1 for Transportation Options in Our Area

26,766 Veterans can dial 2-1-1 for transportation options in our area.

Actually 263,947* people can dial 2-1-1 to find a wide range of services and volunteer opportunities in the five counties we cover (Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Allegany & Yates Counties). IHS's 2-1-1 HELPLINE director, Carol Wood, was invited to serve on a national advisory committee for the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative, along with representatives from the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans/US Office of Mental Health, Community Transportation Association of America, Alzheimer's Association, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, US Department of Health & Human Services, and United We Ride/Federal Transit Administration. The goal of the program is to "make it easier for US veterans ... and others to learn about and arrange for locally available transportation services that connect them with work, education and other vital services in their communities." IHS works closely with veterans groups and transportation providers so that anyone can dial 2-1-1 for this information.
*US Census & American Community Survey
Back to School Supply Drives

school supply drives 
With the start of another school year just around the corner and many children in the Southern Tier without access to adequate school supplies, local agencies are collecting donations to help fill the gap. 2-1-1 HELPLINE, a service of the Institute for Human Services, has released its annual directory of Back-to-School Supplies donation sites throughout the Southern Tier.

The Mondays Campaign

52 Mondays inspiring healthy behavior.

The Mondays Campaigns are based on the idea that Monday is the "January of the week, the perfect time for a fresh start." Rather than one day for New Year's Resolutions, Mondays offer 52 chances to make a commitment to healthier behaviors.

2-1-1 HELPLINE is working with the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition's Quit & Stay Quit Mondays Campaign - handling registrations for cessation counseling sessions over the coming months. Participants sign up by simply dialing 2-1-1, and if they ask about other cessation options, those will be provided as well.

Disaster Declarations

67 Presidential disaster declarations in New York since 1954 and 10 days' worth of supplies recommended

Perhaps we are tracking the weather differently now that it's available to the public in greater detail. 2-1-1 was activated for disaster response by NY State for the first time during Hurricane Sandy - to provide callers with information about resources specific to the incident. Because of this, and because we now have the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes VOAD (see ST/FL VOAD) in place, we will be promoting disaster preparedness in the coming months, in partnership with the Chemung County Medical Reserve Corps. Disaster planners have typically suggested holding a three-day supply of food, water and other necessities, but during recent disasters, power outages and gas shortages have prompted discussion about the benefits of preparing for 10 days to two weeks of self-sufficiency.

Website Traffic

More and more people are finding resources via our online Find Help database at Searches for Basic Needs represent about one-third of all searches. Other terms searched included a wide range of needs such as AIDS care, animal control, credit counseling, hoarding, and GED instruction, among others.
Additional details are available, including referrals by agency or by Zip code. 

Increase in Visits in a Year

We have seen an 86%increase in website visits over the past year! 
A big Thank You to all the agencies which include a link on your websites. Many of our visitors are referred by your sites. If you haven't already taken advantage of this option,please contact us.

Check Out Our Social Media!

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates about our services and other programs in the area!

The Institute for Human Services        

HSC Launches Searchable Meeting Space Directory for Tompkins County

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We have the solution!

As part of our mission, the Human Services Coalition (HSC) works to identify information and service needs in the Tompkins County community. Over the years we have noticed a true need for meeting spaces where local organizations can get together to share ideas and consolidate efforts. To service this need HSC, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension, created an online, searchable database of available meeting spaces in the Tompkins County area.

Go to to easily search for spaces to meet your needs or to add a room (room additions subject to approval).  Use of the database is free of charge.

You're just a few clicks away from finding the space you require or advertising your space to organizations in need.  Give it a try today!

This project was funded by a grant from the Park Foundation. 

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