211 literally saved my life…

A story of hope

Not long ago, I found myself in a situation I never could have imagined. I was exhausted by caring for my nine-year old autistic son, feeling completely inadequate to meet his needs, and had no idea where to turn for help.

My son’s condition causes occasional violent and destructive outbursts. His own aggressive behavior made it difficult for anyone to care for him, including me. He was often considered inappropriate for a number of programs I had tried to enroll him in.

That’s when a friend encouraged me to call 211, the free health and social services hotline in Contra Costa that’s operated by the Contra Costa Crisis Center. Like many people, I didn’t know 211 was even available, let alone the depth and breadth of information and referral services their trained information specialists can provide.

When I called 211, I was almost at the end of my rope. The free services I received literally saved my life. The gentleman who took my call listened patiently while I shared my struggle to find care for my son. He took the time to carefully assess what we needed and referred me to resources I would never have known about had I not reached out to 211.

Today, both my son and I have found the support we needed. It’s all thanks to the Crisis Center and 211.

—Deborah C.