your grandfather who resides in your home has recently become in
need of adaptive equipment to help him bathe . . . or you have a
mobility impairment and are trying to locate a local swimming pool
that is fully handicapped accessible.
What if you live on the West Coast of the United States,
and are interested in learning about delivered meals programs for
your elderly parent in Davidson, North Carolina?
obtaining accurate, concise usable information on these and
countless other issues may have been a very difficult and
Senior citizens, adults with disabilities, their families
and caregivers are often made to navigate through a maze of
telephone numbers, web sites and countless printed guides before
even having the opportunity to get their questions answered.
many situations, citizens, especially seniors do without essential
services solely because they are not aware of them.
Needs that are simple may become urgent, and even critical
because information and assistance is not easily available.
throughout the United States and Canada have been tackling the
problem of providing comprehensive information services to seniors
for some years. One
such program that has been recognized for its innovation is
Just1Call; the one-stop, high-tech, high-touch information and
assistance service in Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), North
is a service of Mecklenburg County government and was designed by
a diverse team of professionals, consumers and other key
stakeholders, both in the public and private, and for-profit and
There are in excess of 100,000
seniors and adults with disabilities residing in Mecklenburg
County. An Aging
Issues Report sponsored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Aging
Coalition revealed that over one-third of the seniors polled did
not know where to turn for information about services.
Just1Call, utilizing strong input
from seniors, outlined strategies to eliminate the barriers to
obtaining and effectively using information. For example,
Just1Call has successfully eliminated use of an automated
telephone answering system. There
are no complicated push-button menus or transfers from one
operator to another that often confuse and frustrate senior
to Just1Call are answered directly by highly trained and
experienced social workers that have the ability to effectively
communicate and listen not only to what is said by caller, but
what is not said, knowing when and how to delve into deeper, often
social worker who answers the call is most often the only person
the customer will have to speak in order to have the confronting
problems addressed, whatever those problems may be.
The social worker can do comprehensive screenings and
assessments of need, either over the phone or in the customer’s
social workers do a great deal more than disbursing phone numbers
of service providers. To
achieve the highest level of customer service, the social workers
practice what J1C calls “closing the loop.”
The social workers will engage in three-way calls to assure
that an effective connection is made between the caller and
provider, and that accurate information is received and understood
by all parties involved.
social workers routinely make follow-up contacts with customers
and service providers. This assures that the assistance provided
by Just1Call and the referred agencies is of the highest quality
possible. Outcomes are carefully measured and reviewed by
Just1Call and Mecklenburg County.
utilizes an award-winning custom designed computer system to help
link the customer to the most appropriate resources available in a
personal, friendly, and professional manner. Just1Call’s mobile
technology allows Just1Call to fully operate in satellite
locations, bringing its entire range of services into the
communities where the need is greatest.
can help customers access a variety of services in
Charlotte-Mecklenburg, such as:
care services and products
and social activities
is totally confidential, free of charge and easy to use.
Just1Call has forged solid
partnerships with businesses, agencies and organizations
throughout Mecklenburg County.
Just1Call is the first information and assistance provider
in the region to include for-profit providers in their database.
To accomplish this, an
Inclusion/Exclusion policy was collaboratively written by
Just1Call and the United Way of Central Carolinas, Just1Call’s
partner in maintaining the provider database, which currently
includes nearly three thousand programs.
was an early degree of apprehension on the part of the private
sector in Mecklenburg County. Could a government-administered
program maintain effective working relationships with such a
variety of providers? Just1Call
has robustly accomplished this. The rate of new providers in the
database, both public and private, increases each month. One
private business has called Just1Call “an asset to this
Charlotte Chamber of Commerce is looking to Just1Call to help
address vital caregiving issues that affect both employers and
recognizes the vast cultural diversity in Mecklenburg County and
can deliver the same quality service to callers in more than 140
languages. Just1Call also recognizes individual’s preferences
regarding methods of communication.
has an easy-to-read “interactive” web site, which allows
Internet users to access the entire Just1Call provider database as
well as the “hottest” information on the Community Bulletin
providers can apply for inclusion or change current data in the Just1Call database via
success of Just1Call has not gone unnoticed.
Just1Call has played a significant role in meeting the
needs of its target population and has been presented both
nationally and internationally as a model of a community-based
information and assistance program.
methods employed by Just1Call to tie together the interests of a
diverse population with a variety of agencies and organizations
have been carefully reviewed in the states of North Carolina,
Texas, New York, Mississippi and Maryland.
one customer has called Just1Call “the best use of my tax money
I have ever seen.” Another
commented “When I use Just1Call, I never feel rushed, and I get
the help I need. No
problem is ever to big or too small for Just1Call.”
are invited to contact Just1Call at 704-432-1111
in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, or toll-free at 877-889-0323. You can
visit Just1Call on the Internet at www.just1call.org
A service of Mecklenburg County
One Call. One Source. Wonderful!