People might think 2-1-1 Brevard is all about telephones, but our mission is more about communication and support – no matter what the medium.
More than 40,000 calls may come in each year, but there are many other ways to get information and make connections with resources.
This website is a key example of how 2-1-1 Brevard wants to share information in a new strategy that emphasizes partnership – among nonprofits, business, government and other supporters.
“We want to offer a platform for ‘insider’ information about 2-1-1 Brevard, as well as highlight good work and needs of other nonprofits,” said Belinda Stewart, 2-1-1 communications manager and a former newspaper editor. “We want more people to know what 2-1-1 and others do to help improve the quality of life on the Space Coast.
“We also want to empower them to support these efforts.”
For about 18 months, 2-1-1 Brevard has been active on Facebook with an emphasis on promoting needs in the community and opportunities to meet them. For example, this week, posts were “shared” about an empty pantry at South Brevard Sharing Center and a call for sponsors for a fundraiser for Central Brevard Sharing Center.
The Facebook page has had more than 4,500 unique users exposed to 2-1-1 Brevard content in one month.
“We never before could have touched that many people in the community outside of our phone lines in one month,” said Libby Donoghue, 2-1-1 Brevard executive director. “This is all about building relationships that help everyone.”
2-1-1 Brevard launched its Twitter feed earlier this year, where the emphasis also is on highlighting needs and providers. But the “news” aspect of Twitter makes it a strong vehicle for communicating about issues critical to 2-1-1 Brevard and others.
“We can share developments in mental health research and treatment, for example, which is so important in our dedication to crisis intervention and suicide prevention,” said Stewart, who added that followers include government policymakers and national mental health experts.
2-1-1 Brevard also recently launched an “app” for its resource database on iPhone and other Apple devices. It is available for free download from iTunes, and an Android version is in development.
Next up will be a pilot program to offer online “chat” for both information and referral and crisis invention. More details will be available soon.
“Whatever the project, the goal is getting people the information they need to get help, offer help or help themselves,” Donoghue said. “If we all help get the word out, obviously, the word spreads further.”