Oregon-Northwest

Need some help from 211info? Now there's an app for that

Can help find housing and food to other needs

SALEM, Ore. - Sometimes, life throws you a curveball and you need a hand up. Things can feel overwhelming at that point, and you don't know where to start in order to regain solid footing. 211info just made it easier to get back on your feet - no matter where you are in Oregon.

On Monday, the statewide nonprofit information and referral agency announced the release of its new, free mobile app for the iPhone and Android platforms. Developed in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services, the app allows users to find a variety of health and community services near them based on their present location.

"We understand the smartphone is a digital lifeline for many of our callers," said Dan Herman, CEO of 211info, "so this is a direction we've been wanting to go in for quite some time. We can't thank the Oregon Department of Human Services enough for helping us bring this to fruition."

Users can download the app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. With location services enabled on their smartphone, users will then be able to find services near them using geospatial technology. The app provides users with a category menu from which they can search such topics as temporary housing, food pantries, legal assistance, parenting programs, prenatal care, mental health support, foster youth services, and many more. Results are then given in both mapped and list form.

"The goal is to make it easier for young people to get connected to community services that can help with basic needs," said Adrea Korthase, Young Adult Program Coordinator for the Department of Human Services. "Smartphones are a constant part of the lives of young people whether they have a cell plan or are using them as wifi enabled devices. The connectivity and resources of 211info will hopefully give people, especially young people, an even more efficient path to the services they need."

For times when there might not be requested services near the user, the app provides one-touch connection to the 211info call center either by calling, texting or emailing. The user can then communicate directly with one of the friendly specialists on staff, who can work with the user to find other options to meet their needs.

211info worked with the mobile application development company Apptology, the software development firm Vistalogic, and the information and referral software developer RTM Designs to build the new app.

If at a PC, you can always get the info you need at http://211info.org/


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