2-1-1 offers assistance to those in need - WFSB 3 Connecticut

2-1-1 offers assistance to those in need

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With frigid temperatures, expected over the next few days, Gov. Dannel Malloy has activated the state's Severe Cold Weather Protocol.

That protocol allows people to call 2-1-1 and be directed to the nearest shelter or warming center.

A shelter on Windsor Street in Hartford is just one of the many locations around the state offering a place to stay, a warm meal, even coats hats and mittens for folks venturing back out.

People can find places like this by calling 211, or clicking here.

"This is the 2-1-1 call center. As you can see its very busy our staff are getting lots of calls,” said 2-1-1 call center Senior Vice President Tanya Barrett.

She gave Channel 3 a behind the scenes look at the call center on Wednesday, where people can call 24 hours a day if they need help finding a warm place to stay.

"Especially on cold weather days. Our mission is to make sure no one goes unsheltered,” Barrett said.

Some 40 or 50 social workers and other personnel take the calls and direct people where to find help.

2-1-1 works together with various government agencies to locate churches, schools, libraries and senior centers that are offering warming centers.

The cold weather protocol is in effect from now until Tuesday, but 211 is always open fielding calls for people looking for help with domestic violence, suicide prevention and a variety of other offerings.

Now especially, they are working hard to help people stay warm and safe.

2-1-1 also recognizes that not everyone has access to a phone to call 2-1-1 or to go online to look up all the warming centers they have listed.

Many social workers, police and fire departments are also out and about looking for people on the street and are calling 2-1-1 on their behalf.

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