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September 12, 2014
Collaboration is the act of working together to achieve a common goal. In Larimer County, we are fortunate that our agencies and service providers embrace collaboration. It means that seniors get help cleaning up their fall leaves, aperson living with mental illness gets connected to the services they need, and an individual living with a disability gets the services necessaryto remain independent. Taking a “no wrong door” approach is vital when collaborating, and leads to better outcomes for those receiving services.
At United Way 2-1-1, we strive to make sure that when a person calls 2-1-1 they get connected to the services they need. Right now, we can help that senior get signed up for fall yard clean up. This service is provided each fall through a partnership between the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and Faith Evangelical Free Church. Last year this program assisted over 200 low income seniors and individuals with disabilities complete their yard clean up and other minor outdoors maintenance projects.
With the recent death of Robin Williams, there has been a focus on mental illness, depression, and suicide in the media. Many 2-1-1 call centers have reported an increase in mental health crisis calls stemming from the heavy media coverage of this tragic death. Supporting and serving those in our community who suffer from mental illness requires strong collaborations that allow services to be available in many locations. Larimer County has some amazing partnerships that make it easier for individuals to access the mental health services they need. Touchstone Health Partners unites with agencies such as the Sister May Alice Murphy Center for Hope, the Salud Clinic, and the Health District of Larimer County to ensure that mental health services are accessible at a variety of times and locations. Through our comprehensive database and relationships with these agencies, 2-1-1 connects those in crisis to the vital services each of these agencies provides.
Approximately 30 percent of 2-1-1 Clients are living with a disability. Many of these individuals are struggling to survive on a very small income, making even basic needs such as food and housing almost impossible to secure. Larimer County has an incredible resource to help these folks get connected to services that assist withliving independently. This resource is the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). The ADRC assists adults with disabilities and seniors who have long term care needs get connected to services that help them remain as independent as they want to. Navigating senior and disability resources is daunting, so having this resource can make all the difference to these clients. 2-1-1 and the ADRC have a strong collaboration, ensuring that no matter where a client starts, they are sure to receive the assistance they need. 2-1-1 Community Specialists often connect these callers directly to the staff at the ADRC through a warm phone transfer. United Way 2-1-1 also conducts follow up surveys to ensure the callers received the help they needed and if not, provides additional referrals and advocacy.
As you can see, collaboration is vital to connecting our community to the services they need. United Way 2-1-1 is thankful for all the amazing partnerships that exist in the community that support our most vulnerable neighbors. It is truly something that makes Larimer County an awesome place to call home!
If you need more information on the services mentioned above, or any other services, please dial 2-1-1 or 970-407-7066 to be connected.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County