Find Help Phoenix, a county-wide resource directory operated by Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) will be sunsetted and absorbed by 211 Arizona after 11 years of serving Maricopa County residents.
“Find Help Phoenix started in response to a community need for a centralized location to find county-wide resources. Public Health was able to fill that gap with the help from First Things First, and now it’s time for 211 to lead that effort,” said Jeanene Fowler, assistant director for Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH).
For the last few years, MCDPH has worked with Solari, the non-profit parent organization of 211, to streamline operations and prepare to ultimately combine the two sites into one resource.
Launched in 2012, MCDPH created the Find Help Phoenix website and its sister site in Spanish, www.EncuentraAyudaPHX.org, to assist residents in accessing free and almost-free health and social services. These services, provided both by MCDPH and by community-based organizations, included job-seeking services, food banks, senior services, resources for foster and adoptive parents, and much more. In addition to providing resources directly to residents, Find Help Phoenix also served as a virtual directory for community partners to find services for their clients.
First Things First has generously funded this service for a decade. First Things First is Arizona's early childhood agency, committed to the healthy development and learning of young children from birth to age 5.
"First Things First was pleased to support this program for the past decade," said Kat Willard, FTF's senior director for family support and literacy. "We know that the well-being of the entire family directly impacts the well-being of the babies, toddlers and preschoolers in the home. A healthy and nurturing home environment is needed for babies to thrive and grow."
While FindHelpPhx.org and EncuentraAyudaPhx.org will no longer operate separately, 211arizona.org will continue to help individuals and families find local resources and provide connections to critical services that can improve and save lives, including:
- Supplemental Food and Nutrition Programs
- Shelter and Housing Options
- Utilities Assistance
- Emergency Information and Disaster Relief
- Employment and Education Opportunities
- Services for Veterans
- Healthcare, vaccination, and health epidemic information
- Addiction Prevention and Rehabilitation Programs
- Re-entry help for ex-offenders
- Support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
- A safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic violence
Information for the providers is checked regularly for accuracy and includes a description of services offered, location, and a phone number and/or website link to contact the organization.
211 Arizona was founded in 1964 as Community Information and Referral Services and incorporated as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1979. In 2017, Solari, Inc. acquired the program.
“Solari is proud to serve as the open door for state residents to turn to when in need, through our 211 Arizona program. We embrace the opportunity to open this door to all those that have relied on Find Help Phoenix,” said Tara Bingdazzo, Senior Director of CSN Core Programs at Solari, who oversees 211 Arizona operations.
211 Arizona operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days of the year online and by phone. Live-operator service is available in English, Spanish and other languages via real-time interpreter services. 211 Arizona’s information and referral services can be accessed at www.211arizona.org or by dialing 2-1-1 within Arizona.
“We know that, especially in a stressful situation, people don’t always know how to easily find the health and social services they need," said Marcy Flanagan, executive director of MCDPH. “We hope this will help people quickly get connected to service organizations that are ready to support them.”