The Marion County Emergency Management Center (aka Emergency Operations Center or EOC) has provided information on how to stay up-to-date and prepared for the possible impact from the tropical disturbance in the Gulf.
2-1-1 is here to help keep you posted and prepared!
Sandbags are available today, 8/30/16, and tomorrow, 8/31/2016, at various locations throughout the county.
Please contact 2-1-1 for the exact locations/times to pick up the sandbags.
(Most locations are self-serve, requiring a shovel to be needed)
You can also get up-to-date storm information via the radio! Check out what stations to tune into here.
You can even sign up for emergency alert notifications that are sent directly to your phone through Alert Marion!
2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.
Everyone remembers the classic line “There’s no place like home” coined in The Wizard of Oz, right??
Well, let’s amend that memorable line with “There’s no place like a SAFE home”. Every person, especially those who are vulnerable like children, deserves to feel safe in their own home. Sadly, oftentimes, that is not the case.
There are many children who go home scared or who don’t go home at all because of the possibility of some form of abuse or confrontation. The feeling of loneliness and helplessness can almost seem inevitable for these kids.
Let’s help make it known that they are NOT alone!
Adolescents can now text the Safe Place Organization, through their TXT 4 HELP program, to find the closest Safe Place to them!! They will also receive their local youth shelter information like the Arnette House (which is also a Safe Place location).
If you find yourself not able to remember the number to text for Safe Place or the Arnette House, keep in mind that you can contact 2-1-1 ANYTIME to access that information and for crisis support.
2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (zip code to 898-211), and live chat.
In the midst of summer it may be easy to forget that with the new school year approaching it is also time for back to school shopping. Back to school shopping can be stressful as it is, but especially when it is an added expense to those of us on a fixed budget. It is also very hard parents and children living with homelessness.
So, let’s take a load off and stuff our extras in the bus! That is, let’s join Marion County Public Schools Homeless Children and Youth Program and local Veteran’s organization in collecting and donating school supplies, clothing, shoes, and hygiene items for the homeless youth in our community.
Stop by any of the locations below to add some stuff to that bus! (All locations times are Saturdays from 9am-5pm unless otherwise noted)
-July 9- Walmart Easy Street, 2600 SW 19th Ave, Ocala
-July 16- Walmart SR 200, 9570 SW Hwy 200, Ocala
-July 23- Zumba™ for Stuff the Bus, Ward-Highlands Elementary, 537 SE 36 Ave, Ocala (10AM-12noon, $10 per person)
July 30- Walmart Silver Springs Shores, 34 Bahia Ave, Silver Springs Shores
Call 2-1-1 to find out about other locations providing and/or accepting free school supplies!
When to call you ask? ANYTIME!!
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone, text (text zip code to 898-211), and live chat.
Let’s start by checking out this Plug for our very own Ocala Housing Authority!!
As many of you know, the Ocala Housing Authority is an organization that assists with the housing needs of the community like Public Housing and Section 8 Vouchers. With that said, OHA has launched a NEW program to further support, not only long-term housing, but also employment, education, and credit rehabilitation. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a 5 year program designed to increase overall stabilization for families.
Take a look at the Checklist below to see if this program is a good fit for you:
OHA wants to empower and help you become economically independent. With all the right tools and guidance, they set you up for success. In fact, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program sets up an escrow account in your name. What does this mean exactly? Well, it means that anytime your income increases from employment that a portion of your rent increase will be credited to your account. Now, AFTER you complete the program the ENTIRE account will be released to the head of household!
If you are interested in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program make sure to contact the Ocala Housing Authority to call and set up an appointment with a program manager:
If you are needing any other type of assistance, please remember that 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (text zip code to 898-211), and live chat.
With school being out for a bit, 2-1-1 wanted to remind you about an awesome opportunity in the community because, let’s face it, our mind goes on summer vacation occasionally, too!
The Summer BreakSpot is a FREE program that offers nutritionally balanced meals to any student 18 and younger! In fact, last year Summer BreakSpot served over 140,000 meals!!! Students can attend any of 49 the Summer BreakSpot locations from now until July 28th to receive meals. Also, there is absolutely no documentation required.
Make sure to check for a location near you that fits your busy summer schedule!
To find out more information on sites near you contact 2-1-1 via phone (dial 2-1-1), text (text zip code to 898-211), or chat.
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week
In light of the recent Mass Shooting at a nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, United Way of Marion County 2-1-1 would like to send our gratitude and appreciation to the community of Marion County. Given our strong sense of community, this tragedy has impacted us as well. Our sincerest positive thoughts go out to the families and friends of those victimized. Both to those whose lives were lost, and those who have an emotional mountain to climb as a result.
Orlando, Marion County and the surrounding communities are strong and resilient. The turnout for donating blood alone is a testament to the connectivity we have. #LiveUnited #OrlandoStrong #OrlandoLove
Lastly, thank you. As a part of our community, we are proud to know that although this didn’t happen in Marion County, we all have offered support and prayers for everyone that was impacted. In fact, while 2-1-1 was updating local vigils in the Orlando area we saw that there is going to be one right here, in Ocala. This Wednesday evening, at 8pm, at Copa, 2330 S Pine Ave, Ocala, FL 34471, there will be a vigil in remembrance of the those lost and those struggling with the weight of such a tragedy. The public is welcome to attend.
Orlando and the United Way of Marion County 2-1-1 thank you, Marion, for your support.
For more information on how to get or give help please call (dial 2-1-1), text (by texting your zip code to 898-211), or live chat with a 2-1-1 specialist.
We are available 24/7 with up-to-date information on where to turn, and also as a place for those who need to reach out for crisis support and counseling.
United Way of Marion County 2-1-1 wanted to wish all of the dads in the community a Happy Father’s Day (Sunday, June 19th). In fact, let’s not just celebrate for one day. Let’s join the Children’s Alliance and Kids Central in June’s Fatherhood Month! They have partnered together to create the Building Better Dads Initiative that highlights the important and impacting role that parents, father’s specifically, have on children. Building Better Dads provides a number of helpful tips on being a better dad, but the most notably being #stayinvolved in the child’s life and interests.
Let’s help Dad celebrate!
Check out some of these FREE activities for dads coming up:
Friday Film Fest- Friday, June 17th, 2pm-4pm at Headquarters- Ocala Public Library
Hooping with Heroes– Friday, June 17th, 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Boys & Girls Club
Father’s Day Story-time- Saturday, June 18th, 11am-5pm at Barnes and Noble (College Rd. location)
Ghost Walk- Saturday, June 18th, 8pm-10:30pm at Ocala Downtown Square
Free Pint Glass- Saturday & Sunday, June 18th-19th, BJ’s restaurants (drink not included)
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens- Sunday, June 19th, all day, Gainesville
Father’s Day Remembrance– Sunday, June 19th, 4pm at Highland Memorial Park
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone, text, or chat.
It’s only the first week of hurricane season and we’ve already seen 3 storms. The most recent of which is Tropical Storm Colin that we are still currently experiencing. 2-1-1 and other community members of Marion want to help in the process of becoming as prepared as possible for another potential storm! In fact, yesterday Marion County Emergency Management launched a FREE emergency notification system called: Alert Marion.
Alert Marion is FREE emergency alert system that helps you receive the most accurate and breaking information straight to your phone via text! Not only is the information sent directly to your phone, you can also customize what type of information you are interested in receiving (tornado, flood, fire, etc.). Also, you don’t have to worry about this emergency alert waking you up in the middle of the night because, guess what, that’s adjustable, too!! You have the power to choose what you want to be notified about AND when you want to be alerted. With that said, the Alert Marion technology’s purpose is to help keep all of us safe so if there is a tornado warning the Alert Marion notification will go off no matter what times you have set to allow the notifications. You can also adjust your notification settings at any time by logging in.
Emergency Management has made it extremely easy to sign up, too!
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to connect you with other severe weather preparation services and locations like where to get sandbags and what shelters are open along with countless other vital information services.
You can contact 2-1-1 by phone (dial 2-1-1), by text (text your zip code to 898-211), or live web chat.
Come again another…WAIT! WHAT?!
The rain can be a relief from the Florida heat, but the potential for a hurricane is about to skyrocket. That is, Hurricane Season is right around the corner, starting June 1! As Floridians we know that hurricanes are nothing to discount. It is better to be overly prepared than stuck with no power, water, or safety plan. No worries, 2-1-1 is here to help!
Also, try to get your hurricane supplies in advance. We’ve all seen the empty shelves of where water jugs, batteries, and flashlights once were when there is word of a possible hurricane.
So, you now have all your supplies, your house is prepared, now what’s left? Make sure YOU ARE PREPARED by having a plan with your family in case of an emergency! FEMA provides a simple outline to help with making a family plan, here. They even have one for your wallet!
For up-to-date information on where to pick up sandbags, water, emergency shelters, evacuation plans, and the Marion County EOC just contact 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is available 24/7 via phone, text (simply text your zip code to 898-211), or live web chat with a specialist now!
With school ending, and summer beginning it can be an amazing time filled with packed calendars, enjoying the time off. Children need access to nutritious meals all year-long to grow and thrive, but many children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals are at risk of hunger or poor nutrition when school is out for the summer. Something to add to those busy schedules and to keep those hard-earned dollars in your wallet is the Summer BreakSpot Program! Summer BreakSpot is a FREE program that offers NUTRITIOUS MEALS to anyone 18 or younger. Not only is this program FREE it is offered at many familiar locations in Marion County like schools, community centers, and faith-based organizations! Even better, there are no applications or documents needed!
Sites may offer breakfast, snacks, and/or lunch! Not only is the food free. It is also balanced and nutritious to help keep everyone healthy and energized to enjoy the summer. What does that consist of you ask? Sites offering Summer Breakspot provide a, USDA guideline approved, balanced meal including: milk, veggies/fruits, grains, and protein. In addition to the free food provided by Summer BreakSpot, many participating locations also offer other activities for children. For more information on sites providing additional enrichment activities call the sites you are interested in.
Where can you find these oases in the desert of summer that is Florida?? You can find a participating location anytime (LITERALLY 24/7!) by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211, or by chatting with us live. All sites provided will be offering the free meals, but we encourage you to call the sites ahead of time to let the site know your child/children will be coming.