Big News! PreventionPays Text will be highlighted again this year at AIRS 2015 during the 2-1-1 General Assembly! Whether you're a 2-1-1 or other I&R, there will be something for everyone!
We are so pleased to have been a part of the AIRS conference over the last two years! We want to thank those who contributed to a very successful and enlightening session in the Technology Track: "Use Enterprise Texting and Create a Paradigm Shift" A huge thank you to United Way Heart of Florida 2-1-1 for helping pull the proposal together. Caree Jewell and Larry Olness were instrumental in creating a thought-provoking, and comprehensive study on texting and 2-1-1.
Over the past two and half years they have done tremendous work in implementing PreventionPays 898211 across several community programs, in addition to their I&R text support (which operates 24/7 with live texting providing access to social services and assisting members of their community through personal and family crises). Their highly innovative programs push the envelope on texting by creating enriching and educational alert programs that target very specific segments of their population. The tax assistance program helps educate citizens about free tax help and how they can maximize their return and avoid falling victim to tax scams and advance return programs that unfairly target the poor. Additionally, they have partnered with state universities and colleges to help educate high school juniors and seniors about the critical life-choice of "going2college". The program sends tailored content to subscribers that helps them meet application deadlines to their chosen institution as well as FAFSA, the two most critical pieces in the process. Thank you, Larry and Caree for having the insight, creativity and drive to build these programs and see them through!
Additionally, we want to thank Mark Kuppe and Canvas Health for sharing their experience with Txt4LIfe, an award-winning program that led to the unprecedented decision by the state of Minnesota to include the service as part of their annual budget for suicide prevention. Their protocols helped inform a nation on how to provide crisis support via text! Many agencies have used their strategies to inform burgeoning work in their state/region. In fact, CONTACT USA has used their protocols to help inform hotlines in their network on how to implement and operate a text line. Canvas Health is a thought leader and innovator in suicide prevention. Txt4Life continues to prosper under a new short code, 61222, provisioned (by Educational Message Services on the PreventionPays Text Platform) to help build awareness about mental health services and prevent suicide throughout Minnesota across all ages, demographics.
2-1-1 Idaho Careline also shared their experience with obtaining a 3-year contract for PreventionPays Text on 898211. Much of their funding comes from the state health department. Therefore, they had to investigate several text services. Eventually, they sole sourced PreventionPays Text, stating, "There’s nothing even close to this product on the market."
Alex Zamora and Judd Reynolds have deployed text I&R statewide and they are now working on adding the Phone2Text referral tool for calls, and a highly innovative "Text4Lunch Program" using the Triage Tools. Individuals are able to text their zip code and receive referrals for lunch programs in their area. A very simple, yet elegant use of texting!
Other 2-1-1s have implemented fire alerts within moments of a statewide status update to "high alert". A California 2-1-1 provides incoming college students with time-sensitive education about the issues of alcohol and campus violence. Texts with facts, tips and resources are sent on the weekends just as students are keying up for a big night of partying. And during the tremendous storms of 2014, multiple 2-1-1s created text info exchanges that provided automated information about the shifting schedules of shelters (which was a huge lift off their already over-burdened phones). They have also shared their protocols with each other in an effort to improve response during disasters and create best practice. Text offers new ways to educate communities about services offered by 2-1-1 and make them lifelong advocates and users of your services. Getting tips about going2college can lead to tips about finding a job, which may lead to an I&R encounter on how to find local public transportation which leads to alerts about parenting and so on and so forth.
At its core, 2-1-1 is about people helping people. And 898211 is helping 2-1-1s open their door to a new generation of help-seekers. At our core, we are about helping nonprofits endear themselves to their communities by empowering and enriching the lives of individuals and their families. Text offers many exciting and new ways to accomplish that.