SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced today that it is continuing its sponsorship of the Interface Children & Family Services 211 program (211) to help support communities in times of disaster. This sponsorship will help extend 211 coverage to all 58 California counties, 18 of which were previously unserved by 211, connecting more Californians to health information, social services and referrals through a comprehensive resource database via call specialists and texting. Today’s enhanced commitment brings the total sponsorship to $550,000 over the two-year period from 2019 through 2020.
The 211 service plays a critical role in providing information and support related to the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in times of disasters including wildfires and during Public Safety Power Shutoff events, helping to relieve non-emergency calls to 911.
211 is a free, confidential calling and texting service that helps people across California find the local health and social service resources they need. Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and nearly 200 other languages via interpreter service.
PG&E’s sponsorship enables the expansion of 211’s 24/7 disaster support coverage to all 58 counties within California.
“We know how important it is to have accurate and timely information in times of crisis. We’re proud to be able to support 211 so that our communities can get the information they need most when they need it. As an added benefit, calls to 211 help reduce non-emergency calls to 911, allowing our first responders to sharpen their focus on the front lines,” said Andy Vesey, PG&E Utility CEO and President.
Get COVID-19 Information from 211
Text COVID19 to 211211 to receive information and updates, or, call 211.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, trained 211 specialists are answering questions about available community services, providing information on disease prevention, connecting those in need to local community clinics, and more.
Since March, over 180,000 Californians found answers to COVID-19 pandemic questions from 211; 40,000 people have used the 211211 texting service. The most frequent inquiries relate to finding reliable sources of information on unemployment benefits, income loss, assistance with food, location and availability of testing, and assistance with rent.
To respond to the increased volume related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 211 has more than doubled its staff while moving to an entirely remote work posture. To get the information and support you need regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, dial 211 from your phone or text the keyword “COVID19” to 211211.
“Our ability to adapt our workforce to meet the pressing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic wouldn’t have been possible to sustain without the support of PG&E,” said Erik Sternad, Executive Director of Interface Children & Family Services, which oversees the 211 response across 41 California counties. “While it is difficult for Californians to know how to prepare for a crisis of this magnitude, they are much better informed about critical resources now and into the future as a result,” Sternad added.
To learn more about 211’s disaster support, please visit www.211.org.
About Interface Children & Family Services and 211 Ventura County
Interface Children & Family Services’ 211 program is part of a statewide network of comprehensive health and social service information and referral professionals. Their 211 program serves 41 of 58 counties in California and has a rich history of providing information and referral services to meet the needs of local communities during an emergency or public health crisis.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and www.pge.com/news.