For September, 2-1-1 Brevard staff visited the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Economic Self-Sufficiency Office in Rockledge.
David Jeczala, DCF community partner liaison for the 18th Judicial Circuit, talked about eligibility for assistance, including food stamps, and the methods for application. Then the group visited the ACCESS center in Byrd Plaza in Cocoa, where applicants can use computers, telephones and document scanners.
2-1-1 Brevard made 1,259 referrals to DCF in 2013, most for food stamps.
Next up: Serene Harbor Domestic Violence Center.
Other agencies visited this year:
- Brevard County Community Action Agency, where specialists made 7,505 referrals in 2013.
- Catholic Charities, 5,388 referrals.
- Salvation Army-Melbourne, 4,466 referrals.
- Housing Authority of Brevard County/Melbourne Housing Authority, 844 referrals.
- Brevard County Legal Aid, 689 referrals.
- Central Brevard Sharing Center, 674 referrals.
- Brevard Drop-In Center, 58 referrals.
Original post: Bread and pastries free for the taking on table in the lobby. Boxes of cereal, cans of beans, bottles of shampoo in a storage room in the back. Rooms with bunks and trundle beds and just a few homey touches like a rug or a quilt.
Four staff members of 2-1-1 Brevard spent part of a recent afternoon touring and learning more about the Salvation Army of Melbourne, where specialists made 3,045 referrals in the past fiscal year.
The “field trip” was the first of a monthly series of site visits to agencies that receive high numbers of referrals from 2-1-1 Brevard.
“The more we know about an agency, the better we can make appropriate referrals,” said Christina Lefler, the helpline supervisor who was among the staff members on the tour.
“After we’ve visited a location and talked face to face with staff, we can better understand what they can and can’t do.”
Communications Manager Belinda Stewart is in charge of setting up the site visits as part of her role in promoting positive community relations.
“Salvation Army South is third on our list of most-frequent referrals with almost 7 percent of all referrals last year,” Stewart said. “So it was an obvious pick for one of our first visits.”
2-1-1 staff toured the Social Services area, including the food pantry, and the Sue M. Pridmore Center for Women and Children.
“We like to thank Capt. Juan Guadalupe and his staff, especially supervisor Joyce Cox, for welcoming us and letting us know how much they value our partnership in helping people,” Stewart said.
More referrals were made last year to Catholic Charities and Brevard County’s Community Action Agency, where visits are scheduled in March and April, respectively.