Department of Human Services | CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION HIGHLIGHTS NJ 211 FOR STORM RECOVERY INFORMATION
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Call Center also serves as useful resource for residents’ day-to-day needs
WHIPPANY – Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez today toured and met with employees at the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership call center, the state’s primary information and referral source for health and human service programs, government assistance information and emergency preparedness or recovery resources. In the month following Superstorm Sandy, the NJ 211 staff handled more than 90,000 calls – about ten times its typical volume.
 
 
 “I came today to personally thank the staff at NJ 2-1-1 for their incredible work during Superstorm Sandy and for their ongoing efforts to support New Jersey residents’ recovery,” said Commissioner Velez. “Staff here serves as referral agents, counselors and advisors to people who call for information ranging from where to apply for FEMA grants to day-to-day questions about how to get housing assistance and where to find senior resources.”
The call center is funded through the United Ways of NJ  in partnership with the state Departments of Community Affairs, Children and Families, Human Services and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. It operates 24/7, 365 days a year and handles, on average, about 1000 calls a day or 200,000 calls a year. 
“The NJ 2-1-1 staff is among the most dedicated and knowledgeable,” said Laura Zink Marx, Executive Director of the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership. “Every day, we  answer a wide range of questions about a variety of programs and services with the skill and sensitivity appropriate to each caller.”
NJ 2-1-1 employs just over 60 people to manage inquiries related to New Jersey’s government services, the Addictions Hotline, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program / Universal Service Fund and storm preparedness and recovery. Calls to 2-1-1 are free and confidential.
“The services provided by NJ 2-1-1 at the call center and online at www.nj211.org are invaluable,” added Commissioner Velez. “Accurate, detailed information is uploaded and shared through staff in real-time. It’s a prized resource for the state and its residents.”
2-1-1 is a national model that launched statewide in New Jersey in 2005. Its infrastructure allows it to be operational by landline, cell phone and internet.
 
 
 
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