2-1-1 Helps A Single Mom And Her Daughter
2-1-1 Helps A Single Mom And Her Daughter Get Back On Their Feet
When Therry, a single mother, first heard about ’s 211 she was happy to know that there were services available to help people in need, but didn’t think that they had anything to offer her. However, just a few short years later she decided to call 211 when life through her a curve. Thankfully, 211 San Bernardino came to her rescue. Here is Therry’s story, in her own words:
“Mr. Madden (Director of 211 San Bernardino) came to my Soroptimist Club to educate us about 2-1-1, never realizing that some of us already had used the services. In fact, the day he was there was exactly five years to the date my life changed dramatically.
The memory is vivid. While I was at work that morning, the police served a search warrant on my home and arrested my now ex-husband. I was thrown into a world I had no knowledge of. But I was fortunate in that I had a friend who was able to guide me through the court system as I learned to file a restraining order and deal with the family court system and child support services. Yet, it would have been nice to know there were victims’ assistance programs that could have helped and protected my daughter and me without leaving us feeling so lost and alone.
Eventually, in the hallways of the district attorney’s office, I noticed the 211 signs but did not think they had anything to offer me. But I did always keep it in the back of my mind.
Fast forward a couple of years. Because the construction firm where I was employed as a controller ended when the firm folded due to economic collapse, I found myself out of work with no unemployment benefits. This time there was no one there to help me.
Scared, I called 211 and learned that public assistance was available and that I should apply; which I did. Later, I called about help with utilities and was told about different services. I applied for utility reduction programs, and finally when I asked about food, I learned of several food programs I qualified for.
Thankfully, I was able to find work a couple of months later. But I do believe that if I had had to worry about electrical bills and feeding my daughter, I might not have been able to focus on getting a new job.
I remember that making the first phone call was difficult but really very easy once I actually talked to someone, and I didn’t feel stupid or uncomfortable. Since my experience, I recommend 211 to many people that I talk to in the course of my job and volunteer work. This service is not just for any one particular group of people, but is truly beneficial to many.”