AUGUST STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Fans of KBOO already know about “From the Grassroots,” a radio show hosted by Ms. Lanita Duke, one of our After Hours Specialist. Earlier this year, she was awarded the West Coast Hometown Media Award for Audio Programming/Independent Producer. Two radio segments are also finalists in the East Coast-based Public Media Awards of Excellence. And most recently the show was named a Bronze winner in the 2019 Summit Creative Award competition. The show agitates for social change using music, commentary, satire and analysis to provoke thought and discussion. It’s broadcast live every first and third Fridays from 8-10pm, and also available as a podcast.

211info Admin
AUGUST: IT'S HOT OUT THERE!

It’s that time of year, when things start to heat up in the Pacific Northwest. Our communities see an increase in heat-related deaths and illnesses, and threats of wild fires. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

Extreme Heat

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) provides information to help you stay safe, including Hot Weather Tips, Signs of Heat-Related Ilnness, protections for vulnerable groups and pets.

211info can also help you find Cooling Centers in your area. To speak with a Community Information Specialist about cooling centers that may be available in your area:

CALL 211 or 1-866-698-6155
TEXT your zip code to 898211 (TXT211)
EMAIL help@211info.org
HOURS Monday-Friday 8am-6pm

Or use our online database or mobile app by searching keyword:

EXTREME HEAT COOLING CENTERS

Recreational Safety

As people are heading outside to enjoy the weather, there are some precautions that can be taken to help prevent heat-related deaths and illnesses. As mentioned above, the CDC has some great information on hot weather tips to help plan your activities, including wearing sunsreen and staying hydrated. In addition, there are precautions to take when enjoying the great waters that Oregon and Washington has to offer. During the summer months, rivers are impacted by deceptive currents and cold temperatures due to snowmelt, so it’s important to be prepared!

This article from Eugene-Springfield’s Register Guard has information on helpful tips. The biggest recommendation is to wear life jackets.

 
Owyhee River, Malheur County, OR. (photo by 211info staff member)

Owyhee River, Malheur County, OR. (photo by 211info staff member)

 

Wild Fires

Another concern during these hot summer months is the impact of wild fires on our communities. Wild fires can mean poor air quality or the need to evacuate our homes.

Ready.gov offers information on how to prepare and how to stay safe.

 
 
211info Admin
JULY STAFF SPOTLIGHT
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Katrina is one of our Maternal and Child Health Coordinators here at 211info.

She was recently elected to the Multnomah Education Service District Board of Directors. The vote count was 91.8% for Katrina, with 16,571 votes.

She campaigned on a platform of quality education for all, expanding opportunity for students, school health services, and standing up for vulnerable students.

Thank you Katrina for all of your hard work serving our communities!

I wanted to reach out to just to give a shout out of feedback to Katrina from the MCH line, the health hotline. I’ve been trying to get some stuff figured out, both vaccination and health insurance wise for sometime, and I’ve been doing a big run around through a lot of systems. Katrina’s voice was one of the first ones that I found...She had gotten my voicemails and was trying to reach out. She was really knowledgeable and offered me some great services and resources in my area and really went above and beyond.... It was a very refreshing voice and personality to have. I feel like a lot of times with government stuff it feels like this archetype of the monotonous machine and she really broke that template and trope and was helpful and invested in me as a human. I just wanted to give her a shout of thanks and let management know that she is awesome. I hope you find more people like her. She really cares and that’s cool. Thanks, Katrina, I’ll probably get health insurance now!
— Marion County Caller
211info Admin
JULY: SUMMER MEAL SITES

July is here and with that comes many summer specific food programs.

The Summer Meals Program: During the school year, tens of thousands of Oregon children eat school lunches each day. When the school year ends, so does this important source of nutrition. The Summer Meals Programs is meant to fill the gap by offering thousands of free lunches to kids across Oregon. Meals are available to kids ages 1-18. Meal sites are located at parks, schools, faith and community centers in hundreds of communities throughout Oregon. There are no restrictions for signing up - kids can just drop in! Many sites also offer fun enrichment activities, arts and crafts, and sports. To find a list of local programs families can visit www.summerfoodoregon.org  or call 211 and ask about summer meal programs in your region. 

 

SNAP at the Farmers Market: Buying fresh produce from the farmers market can be cost prohibitive for many individuals. Most Oregon farmers markets accept SNAP benefits, and many also offer a matching program which can double purchases dollar for dollar up to a certain amount. What this means is you could get $10 worth of food for only $5 from your SNAP account. Use this link to find farmers markets in your area that have a SNAP match program.

211info Admin
JUNE STAFF SPOTLIGHT

We are proud to share that one of our Community Information Specialists, Selina, has recently completed the Developing Equity Leadership through Training and Action (DELTA) Program.

Here is what she has to share:

"This was a 9-month cohort of about 20 people from the state of Oregon in varying positions and organizations. We met for a full day of training once a month. We discussed topics such as Exploring Privilege and Power, Diversity in Recruitment, and Social Determinants of Health/Disparities in Oregon with an end goal of creating and developing a project that we could take back to our organizations and implement. Or at least begin to explore what it will take to reach our Equity visions and goals. We met with various providers and trainers/instructors and dove into training on day one talking about Oregon's very recent History. This captured my attention and gave me an understanding of why Equity and Equity Work is so important.

I entered this program very unsure about what I would learn or how my project would turn out. However, this program opened up all the possibilities and the chance to take a stance against structured oppression and the systemic supremacy culture, where someone like myself couldn't amount to much based on how the structure organizations were built. My project was in conjunction with our Equity Team at 211INFO. We are continuing to work on "Hiring Best Practices" that should be threaded throughout 211info's structure and who and how we hire, from the Board to front line staff to our CEO. Not to discredit anyone's previous hard work but to better fine tune and fit our own Mission statement.

This is the picture I took of self on the day of the graduation and presentation of our projects."

211info Admin
Happy PRIDE!
211info Portland Pride Organizing Team. Stop by our booth and say hello!

211info Portland Pride Organizing Team. Stop by our booth and say hello!

211info is excited to participate in PRIDE again this year. This will be our second year tabling at Portland Pride.

Every day, we strive to create a workplace that is equitable and welcoming to both employees and community members.

We continuously look for opportunities to grow and develop an inclusive organization. Here are some things that we have implemented over the years. We know that change doesn’t end here and we encourage other organizations to do the same and more!

  • Bathrooms: when we moved into our new space three years ago we made sure to include an all gender bathroom. We now have two. We also stock all bathrooms with menstrual products for staff.

  • Pronouns: we include (optional) pronouns on our job application, in our email signatures, meeting introductions, and desk name tags.

  • Training: all new employees attend a gender 101 training as part of our larger "Working with Diverse Populations" training. This covers statistics that demonstrate the experiences of trans and non-binary communities, basic definitions, as well as why and how we gather demographics on gender from callers. The internet has lots of great resources for training purposes. Here’s a video that we use.

We also provide ongoing opportunities for continuous learning. Here are some community trainings staff have attended in the past year: Philosophies of Trans Inclusion, Understanding LGBTQ Veterans from a Trauma-Informed Lens, Supporting LGBTQ Survivors, Social Determinants of Health for LGBTQ, etc.

  • Demographics and Self-identity: we ask all of our callers a series of optional demographic questions. For gender, we ask an open-ended question that allows callers to self-identify. These questions can help identify additional resources and demonstrate community needs. Here is a report on the needs of trans and gender non-binary identified callers in the past year.

  • Resources: our database includes resources for the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some search terms to find them through our online search tool.

    • Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Advocacy Groups
      Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Community Centers
      Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Support Groups
      GLBTQ Helplines
      Hate Crimes Reporting
      Internet Information Resources * Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues
      Physician Referrals* Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues
      Specialized Information and Referral * Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues
      Suicide Prevention Hotlines * Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues
      Transgender Hormone Therapy
      Youth Issues Lines * Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues



211info Admin
Happy Earth Month!

According to WHO (World Health Organization), “An estimated 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 – nearly 1 in 4 of total global deaths, according to new estimates from WHO. Environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change, and ultraviolet radiation, contribute to more than 100 diseases and types of injury. “

211info recognizes that environmental health disparities exist in our communities. Many of the contacts we field in our contact center relate to health and safety concerns people have when it comes to their homes, workplaces, or schools. We’re able to acknowledge the validity of their concerns and provide people with resources to help, whether that be tenant rights groups, labor rights groups, lead testing services, community clinics, etc.

Also, did you know that 211info is the Pesticide Incident reporting line for the state of Oregon? Oregonians who have concerns about a pesticide application that has negatively impacted people, animals including insects (bees), or the environment can call 211 or 503-986-6470 to make a report.

You can also call 211 to report Tsunami debris that you find on the Oregon coast.

We have been activated during several emergencies relating to environmental health, including: radon testing information, NE Killingsworth Fire, Salem Water, Johnson Creek Flooding, Wildfires, Bullseye Glass air quality concerns, etc.

We’ve also taken a look inwards - A couple years ago, a few 211info staff members came together to form a Green Team. Here are some of their many accomplishments:

  • Gained certification with the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program

  • Held 3 all staff training events with Genevieve from the City of Portland to learn about recycling

  • Moved pay stubs to a paperless system

  • Created a Green Team bulletin board with recycling information, wildlife sightings journal, bike map and other info for staff

  • Created a clearly labeled and monitored recycling station in the kitchen

  • Distributed under-desk recycling boxes throughout the office

  • Facilitated two Eco Challenge events in October 2016 and October 2017 to engage staff in changing small habits

  • Held two Earth Day events in April 2017 and April 2018 with prizes and fun activities (veggie potluck! "who gives a fork" silverware drive! wildflower seed bombs! reusable mugs for all)

  • Installed a faucet aerator in the kitchen to reduce water flow

  • Put together "cleaning caddies" for each work station pod with green cleaning solution and a reusable microfiber cloth as an alternative to Clorox wipes

  • Established a scratch paper area by the printer for unused single-sided paper

  • Purchased grabbers so that staff can safety pick up trash on daily walks

211info Admin