Meet Jose: Outreach Coordinator
My name is Jose and I’ve made 211 my second home for the past 3 ½ years. I started my journey as a Community Resource Advisor (CRA) on Jan 5th 2016. I remember visiting San Gabriel for the job fair, a part of the interview process, in December of 2015. Prior to 211 LA, I held several jobs. None provided a sense of purpose or the feeling of being part of something larger than myself that I had while serving my country in the Marine Corps. While still in the Marine Corps, I came to learn that even with the ever-changing mission it was those around me that made the job worth doing RIGHT. I knew very early on that I could draw parallels to that here at 211 LA.
Since 2016, I have held several positions besides Community Resource Advisor. While still a CRA, I was selected as an alternate for support at Edmund D. Edelman’s Children’s Court. Once a week, as agency needs dictated, I performed the same duties as a CRA but instead of on the phone I met people in person. Their needs were more evident than I could have ever imagined while fielding phone calls.
It was that change of perspective that fueled my need for change and when a position in our Outreach department was vacant, I jumped on the opportunity. I embraced the idea that more people, especially those underserved communities, could benefit from us promoting 211 as the best jumping off point for the community's needs.
Outreach Coordinators are the point of contact for any community members or partners interested in engaging with 211 LA. As an Outreach Coordinator, I attend community events, provide presentations for service providers, and maintain 211 LA’s social media pages. Each contact I make through these activities is an opportunity to educate others about the services and resources available through 211 LA. We target our information, and provide guided searches and referrals for the populations present at the community event or presentation. The Outreach team also monitors social media for misinformation during disasters, ensuring people know where to turn for help.
Recently I also split my Outreach time with the Special Projects team as a Special Projects Coach. I shared the responsibility of writing new protocols as well as developing training that will dictate our best practices in handling calls new to our agency, like reporting hate acts or requesting vector control services.
As I alluded to before, my favorite part of working here at 211 LA is finally feeling a sense of purpose. I feel that what I do is important and not just a job. I’m proud that as a member of the 211 team I can continue to be of service. I consider myself a strong willed individual, but so far at 211 my individuality has been appreciated and I can only hope that I’m allowed the opportunity to continue to grow.