Information, referral and much, much more……
Hunterdon Helpline provides Information and Referral services by transferring topic-specific requests directly to appropriate public and private social services and government agencies.
A recent example of Information and Referral care management is the case of a 94-year-old man who required eye surgery in Philadelphia and a consultation check up. Call Specialist staff made the arrangements for transportation, guide dog care, escort services and follow up evaluation. The entire process involved over forty calls and the man got through an extremely stressful time with the support of Hunterdon Helpline's staff.
- Basic Human Needs Resources
- Support for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities
- Support for Children, Youth and Families
- Physical and Mental Health Resources
- Employment Resources
- Community Information
- Utility Assistance
Each year Hunterdon Helpline handles over 75,000 calls from people – children, parents, families, individuals, professionals – offering a myriad of programs and services.
Reassurance calls are among our favorite services. Employees and volunteers enjoy the daily chats and opportunities to help ensure our seniors are safe. Earlier this year a Hunterdon Helpline Call Specialist was unable to reach a familiar 94-year-old senior on one of their usual Reassurance Calls. The Call Specialist quickly called the family’s listed emergency contact, who rushed to the senior and discovered her on the floor having suffered a heart attack. Her daughter later called us to offer thanks and appreciation for saving her mother's life. The senior is back at home and still receiving her daily calls.
As our population ages, the number of adults who need support grows. Hunterdon Helpline offers wellness check calls, follow up advocacy and emergency response when needed. Hunterdon Helpline serves about 130 vulnerable adults each year; Hunterdon Helpline makes over 30,000 calls on their behalf. The clients report they feel a better sense of connectedness to the community as a result of our scheduled calls.
The Friendly Visitor Program is available to Hunterdon County residents 60 years of age and older, who are socially and/or geographically isolated. Visits take place in the residence of the senior, be it an apartment, a house or long-term care facility. Social in nature, visits are targeted to take place about once per week, with an hour dedicated for each visit. Volunteer visitors look at photographs, read stories, play cards, reminisce or just talk. Flexible times are established for the visitor and the senior.
Hunterdon Helpline matches over 50 home bound seniors with a volunteer visitor each year. The seniors report they benefit from the socialization.
The Compassionate Listening Program truly defines Hunterdon Helpline as an anonymous and supportive service. Callers dial Hunterdon Helpline to "vent" about family and individual issues. The anonymity of the program allows callers to discuss their fears and frustrations in a comfortable setting. This was the case with the 68-year-old woman who just found out that her husband was diagnosed with cancer. She didn't feel comfortable crying to her children who had their own problems. Callers often call just to talk to a friendly voice.
Hunterdon Helpline listens to nearly 700 calls each year. In closing our calls with a survey, callers express that they benefited from the opportunity to speak with us and feel better at the end of the call.
At 1am, a young woman called a Hunterdon Helpline Call Specialist revealing that she was self-mutilating. Having been previously hospitalized for her self-destructive behavior, the caller offered that she was feeling the urge to go beyond her "normal" mutilation...perhaps, to suicide. The Hunterdon Helpline listener spoke at length with her, kept her on the line, and was able to notify 911 until the rescue squad arrived. With the caller’s permission, her mother (in Washington State) was notified.
Hunterdon Helpline handles an average of 50 suicide calls a year. Our service standards require follow up procedures to ensure that the caller has received the emergency care or counseling to overcome the crisis.
This past Christmas Eve a Hunterdon Helpline Call Specialist answered a call from a distressed 19-year-old mother. She explained that she and her 2-month-old baby were thrown out of her father's house. She had no shelter, food, clothing or supplies for the baby. Hunterdon Helpline arranged for shelter at a local motel. Hunterdon County Resources was enlisted to contact local food banks and churches to provide essential supplies as well as emotional support. Follow up activity through the Division of Social Services provided long term help in the aftermath of the holiday crisis.
In the current economic climate, the number of calls from people who find themselves with no place to go is on the rise. In 2009, 2000 people reached out to Hunterdon Helpline, arranging over 425 nights of shelter. Eligible, homeless callers have their immediate needs met.
An anxious mother called Hunterdon Helpline during LINK after hours, when her adult, handicapped son was 45 minutes late. The Hunterdon Helpline Call Specialist contacted the bus driver by radio and learned that the driver was repairing a flat tire. He was expected to be on his way in 15 minutes. The Call Specialist reported back to the anxious mother reassuring her that her son was safe, with a group of riders, and would be home shortly.
Riders and their families call Hunterdon Helpline over 3,300 times a year with concerns about LINK bus service. Residents telephone Survey results reveal that Hunterdon Helpline provides them with the essential connection to the drivers so they can be confident using the transportation system.
Hunterdon Helpline’s is not limited to callers whose first language is not English via the Translation Center of Hunterdon County. The Center, administered by Hunterdon Helpline is coordinated by bi-lingual Community Resource Staff. The Center’s concentration is in providing services to the growing Latino population but all languages are accommodated via a language line.
- Energy Assistance (Hunterdon, Somerset & Warren)
Helpline's energy assistance intake site provides eligible residents with one to one service for the NJ SHARES Program (heating, lighting and water assistance) and the TRUE Program (electric and gas).
Literacy Services provides tutor training, one to one and group tutoring in basic skills, English as a second language, GED and citizenship preparation, programming on financial and health literacy and support for volunteers and students. Helpline's Literacy Services provides and average of 150 residents with literacy services a year.
Family Success Centers are community-based, family-centered neighborhood gathering places where any community resident can go for family support, information, and services. Family Success Centers aim to enrich the lives of children and adults by making families and neighborhoods stronger by helping and empowering all families to succeed. The Hunterdon County Center is located at 3 East Main St, Flemington, NJ and administered through a partnership between Hunterdon Prevention Resources and Helpline. For additional information, visit www.hcfsc.com
In 2005 Hunterdon Hispanos was founded with the mission to bring Hispanic residents of Hunterdon County together through opportunities for cultural celebration and to promote inclusion for Hunterdon's Hispanic population by facilitating access to the information and resources needed to fully participate in and contribute to the community at large.
Now merged with Helpline, Hunterdon Hispanos will continue to provide the newsletter "La Voz", offer "Ask the Attorney" programs and develop cultural programming while providing information and referral, advocacy and case management services through the Translation Center. The Hispanic community will have greater access to English language support through Helpline's Literacy Services. Hunterdon Hispanos areas of priority will continue to include information, technology and legal service access, food security, support for English language learners, cultural expression and community building under Hunterdon Helpline's administration.