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Klamath County Receives Social Service Referrals from New Call Center
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Klamath County Receives Social Service Referrals from New Call Center

January 25, 2013
By Jody Ray Bennett
TMCnet Contributing Writer

A 211 call center was established on Friday in Klamath County, Oregon, thanks to the work of the 2020 Klamath Vision project’s health and human services committee, whose goals have always included the betterment of their community.

One obstacle to such betterment the group identified, and attempted to overcome, was the confusion in Klamath County over what group or agency, of the hundreds serving the region, was best suited to any given individual’s specific needs. Their solution came in the form of this 211 call center, which will provide referrals to community members for employment support, medical resources, emergency resources, and both youth and family support.

The health and human services committee expects this call center to not only serve community members, but to also reduce information-seeking calls to its 911 services, allowing them to focus on their emergency service.

In addition to the call center, an Intergenerational Community Center was in the planning stages of development, to help consolidate social services resources in the county.

As part of an agreement with Klamath County, a lot near Klamath County jail was be leased to the group for a dollar a year over the next three years. Community focus groups were consulted and architectural plans were drawn up for the building itself, which was to be a joint-center for various community services and resources.

It was to have a family resource center, a youth center and a senior center, and over 400 students from the local high school were surveyed about what they wanted to see from the youth contingent.

This planning, however, occurred when the recent recession was at its worst in Klamath and the project never took off, though the vision committee is still interested in reviving the project when resources are available again.

Trish Seiler, council woman for Klamath Falls and vision facilitator, explained the importance of effectively tackling local economic and social issues in the community, remarking that, “Anyone who is looking to relocate here … [is] going to wonder: ‘Why should I move there if the community does not come to together and work on these problems?’”

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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