New hotline connects homeless with county services

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EUREKA- Starting Wednesday, October 1, homeless people in Humboldt County can get connected with needed services through one simple phone call.

Those in need of services like a place to stay and health care can now dial 2-1-1 toll free on any phone to be connected with a call specialist. The specialist talks to the person about their needs and connects them directly with agencies who can provide help.

“What I hope comes out of this today is that we are able to help homeless people make that first step, to call in for services to get stabilized, to get into a housing, a pre-housing transitional living situation so that they can end their homelessness,” said Karen Olson, co-chair of the Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition.

Until Wednesday, 2-1-1 was used as a community switchboard. Olson says it took nearly a year to collaborate with the switchboard to create the program.