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OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) continues to find effective tools to provide better customer service. One of the resource tools utilized by OKDHS staff is the newly redesigned 211 Oklahoma website. The site provides users with easy access to information about a variety of community services - including those administered by OKDHS.
211 Oklahoma connects users - or callers - to information about critical community-based services for their everyday needs, especially in times of high stress or in the aftermath of a natural disaster. In short, it connects people who need help with those who provide help. That includes a growing number of OKDHS social workers who see 211 Oklahoma as another resource they can use to help provide the best possible customer service.
"Many OKDHS employees use 211 as a resource, especially social workers in the county offices," said Lori Linstead, State Director for 211 Oklahoma. "The 211 website provides an online directory that allows individuals to search for needed resources and services. OKDHS staff - and the public - can access organizations in the state that provide free and low-cost services, including affordable housing options, literacy programs, job training, transportation, and support networks."
According to Linstead, once information about an organization has been verified, 211 staff updates the information in "real time," which ensures quick, accurate and reliable data. She says 211 Oklahoma serves as a single point of entry for web users and for callers - 211 is a free number from anywhere in the state - and staff are available to identify resources and provide details on how and when those seeking help can access needed services.
Among the OKDHS partners who use 211 Oklahoma is the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). During the wildfires in late July and early August, VOAD was very involved in providing assistance to residents whose homes were destroyed. They helped connect people with important services administered by a diverse group of organizations and agencies - including OKDHS.
"I'm excited to share the newly redesigned website with our partners," said Linstead. "The new online resource directory makes searching for resources easy and quick."
There are two call centers for 211 Oklahoma: one serves Oklahoma City and the western half of the state - and one serves Tulsa and the eastern half of the state. Both call centers are nationally accredited through the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS).
For more information about 211 Oklahoma, visit 211oklahoma.org or send an email to Lori.Linstead@okdhs.org.