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Contact: Karen B. Williams

President and Chief Executive Officer

2-1-1 Orange County

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As two organizations merge, new technology supports joint mission to help people find the help they need

COUNTY OF ORANGE, California, September 3, 2013 – 2-1-1 Orange County has recently purchased new technology, which will benefit families and their children with funding from the Children & Families Commission of Orange County that will enhance the organization’s ability to help people find the help they need.

The new technology will support the multi-faceted merger process. Technology includes items like new laptops, headsets, tablets, servers, network upgrades, and database enhancements. This technology will drive 211OC’s ability to serve 76,300 people, or 16,300 more people each year. We will serve 7,800 more people through calls alone each year. By upgrading and providing more user-friendly options on our Public Resource Database we will expand service access online and in-person by providing information and referrals at different locations like Family Resource Centers, multi-service centers and homelessness intervention programs where Referral Specialists will be able to deliver services with tablets. As an important organization serving as primary point of contact for people searching for basic needs like food and shelter throughout the year, including during times of disaster, 211OC will be even better equipped to support with disaster preparedness by purchasing second computer and television monitors. Referral Specialists will have the ability to view the database, County Operational Area Situation Reports, and live news about the disaster at the same time without having to switch between computer views. Additionally, a workforce management tool will allow us to maximize the sudden increase in volunteer helpline staffing during times of disaster. We will also have the opportunity to improve our database management and make our reporting practices more efficient by reducing the time it takes to enter information into the database and automating reports to partners and funders.

211OC is committed to making additional improvements in the health and social services landscape as a merged entity, increasing access and serving more people in the process and guiding conversations on resource gaps and prioritization by providing needs trends analysis and reports to partners and funders.

For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with President and Chief Executive Officer, Karen Williams, please email Karen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you or someone you know is seeking help, dial 2-1-1 or 888-600-4357, or visit www.211oc.org to search the Public Resource Database or submit an online help request.

More about 2-1-1 Orange County:

2-1-1 Orange County is devoted to connecting people to the help they need. A single telephone call can make all the difference, bringing hope to the discouraged, and providing positive change in their lives. People seeking solutions to their health and social service needs can easily find what they’re looking for by dialing 2-1-1 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since obtaining the 2-1-1 license in 2005, we provide information and referrals to over 60,000 people a year. For more information, please contact 2-1-1 Orange County at (888) 600-4357 or visit www.211oc.org.


Anne Olin
(714) 647-0900
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After a 3-month search and recruitment process, the Board of 2-1-1 Orange County (211OC) has announced the appointment of Karen Williams as new President and CEO of the recently expanded organization.

Williams assumes leadership of 211OC during a time of significant growth and transition,the organization having just finalized a successful merger in May of this year with OC Partnership (OCP)-a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the county's homeless service providers.The joining of these two established organizations merged similar visions and in one stroke created a single, comprehensive information and referral system for all health and human services in Orange County. Williams was previously Chief Operating Officer at OCP.

"Karen's experience and success at OCP along with her knowledge of our community make her a perfect choice to lead us forward," said 211OC Board President Max Gardner. "We are excited to have someone as dedicated and qualified as Karen take the helm."

Williams' appointment is the conclusion of a thorough professional search including many qualified candidates from both coasts. The Board of 211OC was searching for a recognized civic leader with the skill and ability to build an organization that, over time, will be on e of the most influential not-for-profits in Orange County. Also high on the Board's list of priorities was to find someone who could develop effective strategies to strengthen the health and human services sector in Orange County and support to the County's Plan to End Homelessness. Ultimately, the Board felt that Williams' unique combination of experience and deep relationships with nonprofit service providers was the right fit to steward the organization through its new and continued evolution.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected by the new 211OC Board of Directors for the role of President and Chief Executive Officer," stated Williams. "This is an exciting time to be taking the helm of the newly merged organization, connecting people to services, and providing measurable results back to our community. Our newly formed 211OC team will continue to provide important resources to individuals and service providers,in both private and public sectors."

Williams brings over 25 years of management experience in the field of data and information, telecommunications, and database marketing, as well as extensive experience in running outreach programs. During her recent tenure at OCP, Williams had the responsibility to provide vision and leadership to the organization to achieve its mission, working with public and private agencies to pull together an effective, efficient, informed, and collaborative regional system of response to homelessness in Orange County. This included OCP's role as part of the County's Commission to End Homelessness, taking the lead in several major efforts to organize the coordination and cooperation of the County's homeless and at-risk service providers.

Williams is replacing interim Executive Director,Dolores Gonzalez-Hayes, a former 211OC Board member who stepped in to help the organization through a transitional period.

"The Board and I are also extremely grateful to Dolores for her service as an interim Executive Director and for guiding the organization through a critical time," said Gardner. "We look forward to continuing the growth and development of 211OC as a valuable and critical part of our community."

About 2-1-1 Orange County
The mission of 211OC is to help people find the help they need, which we accomplish by eliminating barriers to identifying and accessing social services in Orange County. The organization provides Orange County residents with a simple number to call - 2-1-1 -which connects those in need to critical social services such as: housing, job placement, food and health insurance. 211OC also collects data and facilitates collaborations that help stakeholders make strategic decisions about the region's most pressing health and human services challenges.

For more information about 211OC, its leadership, and its impact in the community, contact Karen Williams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.





Helping people find the help they need through user-friendly online tools

2-1-1 Orange County is pleased to announce the availability of exciting online tools to help people find the help they need.  211OC’s online resource database is a free searchable directory of nonprofit and government agencies providing health and human services for Orange County. 

The Mission of 2-1-1 Orange County is to help people find the help they need by eliminating the barriers to finding and accessing social services in Orange County.  211OC is a comprehensive information and referral system for Orange County, connecting people to existing health and human services and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a searchable online resource database, confidential multi-lingual hotline and email support.

Since launching the online search engine on July 1, 2012, 211OC continues to implement new features to enhance the user-friendliness of the web-based directory.  As of February 2013, agencies included in 211OC’s resource database can send a “one-click” direct request to update their own program information in the database, saving agencies time, and facilitating access to current and accurate information for people seeking resources.  As of April 2013, the site now includes the option of using picture-based icons to search service categories, enabling users to find the resources they need simply and quickly, without having to know an agency name or service keyword to type into the search bar.  As of May 2013, anyone in the public can now create their own free, anonymous and secure “account”, allowing them to create "groups" (or folders) into which they can later add resource records.  This allows returning users to see their “favorite” resources, organized by "group", making them easier to find. 

Visit www.211oc.org, and click on “Search for Resources” to use these new tools, and to provide feedback or suggestions for new features or enhancements.

In addition to these channels for access, 2-1-1 Orange County is actively preparing to launch online instant chat services, and other ways to connect.  211OC is continually researching national best practices in information and referral, and seeking feedback to enhance the user-friendliness and efficiency of our services and tools.

If you or someone you know is seeking help, dial 2-1-1 or 888-600-4357, or visit www.211oc.org to search the public resource database or submit an online help request. 


For more information regarding the online resource database, contact 2-1-1 Orange County’s Resource Department: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 949-486-8519.

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