Posts

Activating for Hurricane Laura

 



With one of the highest 24-hour intensification rates, Hurricane Laura will be a tremendously serious storm, and another of nearly 300 named disasters from which we build expertise and readiness to offer help.

All of us at Visionlink extend our thoughts and prayers to our customers, the communities they serve, and everyone in the path of Hurricane Laura.

Our disaster team is ready to help, and now with new non-congregate care and COVID-ready solutions so we can support disaster response during a pandemic.

We offer the nation's leading disaster relief platform. Activate one or modules as needed. Complete with training and implementation support from disaster relief experts.  Ready for instant deployment.

Selected by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD).

Damage Assessment
Sheltering
Situational Awareness
Client Intake
Case Management
Volunteer Management
In-Kind Donations
Repair and Rebuild

Learn more: https://www.visionlink.org

Rent Relief in Ventura County



Visionlink is pleased to support the County of Ventura in their recent launch of the Ventura County Pandemic Rental Assistance Program.


This program is aimed at providing temporary rental assistance for Ventura County residents who owe past-due rent because of a hardship due to COVID-19. Priority is being given to eligible applicants with an annual household income of less than 50% area median income, followed by 80% AMI.


The application process opened online on June 17, 2020 at www.ventura.org/rent. The application deadline is July 1, 2020, including information from each applicant’s landlord. While the funding may not fully cover monthly rent, it will assist in reducing the amounts owed for rent. County officials anticipate a great need for the program. 


You can learn more about the program here.


Visionlink’s Community OS platform is providing the tenant and landlord application solution and the eligibility review technology for this program. We congratulate the County of Ventura on their successful launch.


National Nurses Day!




On the heels of GivingTuesday (yesterday), we have another major national day today, May 6th, honoring nurses and by extension--other healthcare workers.

At the turn of the century, Florence Nightingale is credited with founding modern nursing. She was an advocate of strict hand washing and other practices--and is credited with reducing the death rate among wounded soldiers (Crimean War) from some 40% to 2%.

It is fitting that we honor the millions of nurses at work today, and particularly during COVID. Every one of us will benefit from the care of a nurse during our lifetimes, and today, they are on the front lines like no one else.

We join so many others honoring the work they do, and the care they offer, as they focus on the healing and support of all to whom they attend. 

Thank you.

Giving Tuesday!




Yes, during a pandemic it's hard to take the time. But perhaps now is the best time. And if you're reading this after Tuesday--so what? Make a difference and give today.

To whom?  How about your local newspaper or faith-based organization, or a community service organization stretched to the max responding to COVID? Your alma mater is facing an uncertain fall semester, the community orchestra needs your help. A small business with a curbside pickup could use some support. Pick the thing that matters to you.

And it's true -- the dollars matter, but the number of contributions matters a lot--even it's only a few bucks because every donation demonstrates support. 

Visionlink's part? We are contributing solutions to states and VOAD agencies to support COVID relief. What we all do matters less than that we do something. Rage against the doomsayers, hold on to the belief--proven by our history time and time again--that when we pull together, we do amazing things together.

Stay well -- from all of us Visionlink.


CT State Infographic for Volunteering!




The Connecticut State VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), has created a great graphic to explain how the volunteer management solution works--with volunteers being able to sign up, register their skills and availabilities, and lead agency staff can then post volunteer needs, search for volunteers that can match the opportunities, and so forth. 

Visuals are always fantastic!  Visionlink is proud to provide this volunteer management solution and honored to help empower the time and talents of Connecticut's dedicated volunteers.




Oregon Office of Emergency Management: Volunteer & Goods and Services Donations






We are pleased to support the good work of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The agency has deployed Visionlink’s volunteer management and Goods and Services Donation solution to help coordinate response among volunteers for COVID-19 in Oregon

You can visit their site here [https://oregonrecovers.communityos.org/] and you can learn more about the state governments leading efforts here.  And you can learn more about our blue sky solutions in the Community Solutions menu link above, and our gray sky Disaster Technologies above as well. 



Americans' Urge to Help Overcomes Lock Down Limitations







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thousands of COVID-19 volunteers and donated essential supplies are matched
with states’ needs through an innovative pro bono tech and volunteer partnership

BOULDER, CO, April 9, 2020 – Americans are no strangers to disasters. A hallmark of U.S. culture is the immediate outpouring of offers from volunteers and companies urgently wanting to help those stricken by misfortune. But, the new coronavirus pandemic has brought out another aspect of American society— the tenacity and ingenuity to work around obstacles to helping that until this point in our lifetime were unseen, namely that of social distancing.

In the face of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (NVOAD), Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division and Sterling Volunteers are partnering in a public-private pro bono effort to help state governments and non-profit agencies mobilize the desire of Americans to provide help from a safe distance. The partners do this by providing systems for screening, matching, and management of offers of goods, services and volunteers state by state. This includes everything from canned food and medical grade masks, to certified medical workers and everything in between.

“The nationwide response to COVID19 requires extraordinary and lasting new partnerships between nonprofits, government, and business sector leaders,” said Greg Forrester, CEO of NVOAD, “The technology and volunteer human resources services being provided by Visionlink and Sterling enables our network of vetted members to link with state governments around the country to mobilize volunteers and process in-kind donations. Together we can maximize the willingness of Americans to volunteer and the generosity of corporations donating life-saving goods and services.”

Douglas Zimmerman, CEO of Visionlink, stated, “We simply couldn’t stand by and not support the nationwide challenge of this pandemic. Our technology suite is in use in dozens of states around the country and more are joining. We are proud to be able to partner with Sterling Volunteers to support the efforts of the NVOAD disaster agencies and the efforts of state governments to mobilize volunteers and get resources to health workers and others who urgently need them.”

The Partnership
The partners’ vision is a nationwide state-based network of secure volunteerism and in-kind donations of goods and services supporting those in need and those agencies assisting. NVOAD is extending its disaster suite of technologies created by Visionlink, including a volunteer mobilization module and an in-kind giving module to allow corporations and individuals to donate goods and services and be confident they will be paired with relevant agencies and government in all 50 states and six territories. Adoption among states is proceeding rapidly.

Visionlink is providing pro bono licenses for COVID-19 response to each state and territory, access to agencies and state governments, as well as training and technical support for response. Analytical reporting of volunteers and in-kind giving is also available to state leadership and agencies participating in the system to support decision making and operational priorities.

Sterling Volunteers will provide free background checks for COVID-19 volunteers and responders.  All volunteers can also take advantage of Sterling Volunteers’ unlimited sharing of their background check with agencies and governments they wish to volunteer with. This will reduce costs and streamline the volunteer recruitment process so help arrives faster to individuals and families hard hit by the pandemic and the disruption it causes in livelihoods, community services, and daily living.

“As exemplified in our work with ColoradoResponds, and with Connecticut and New Jersey, we are here to help states and their communities of disaster agencies by safely mobilizing trusted volunteers around urgent needs,” said Katie Zwetzig, executive director of Sterling Volunteers. “Our collaboration with Visionlink and NVOAD offers a coordinated experience that will safeguard vulnerable citizens and instill confidence in responders working alongside these volunteers.”

“We appreciate the pro bono participation of Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division and Sterling Volunteers,” said Forrester. “Their contribution has greatly extended our ability to support agencies and government partners to deliver what Americans need in this unparalleled tragic pandemic that has brought us all together.”

About Sterling Volunteers
Sterling—a leading provider of background and identity services—offers a foundation of trust and safety that spans across industries, professions, and borders. Our technology-powered services help organizations create great environments for their workers, partners, and customers. With office locations around the world, Sterling conducts more than 100 million searches annually. Visit Sterling online at sterlingcheck.com. [https://www.sterlingcheck.com]

About Visionlink Disaster Technologies
Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division is a leading provider of technology solutions to support responding agencies and government. Visionlink Disaster Technologies are created by disaster practitioners for disaster practitioners. Visit Visionlink at visionlink.org. [https://www.visionlink.org/disaster-technologies/]

About National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National VOAD is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters; provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. The National VOAD coalition includes over 60 of the country’s most reputable national organizations (faith-based, community-based, and other non-governmental organizations) and 56 State/Territory VOADs, which represent Local/Regional VOADs and hundreds of other member organizations throughout the country. Visit NVOAD at nvoad.org. [https://www.nvoad.org/]
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Media Contacts:
Carol Miller, Visionlink Disaster Technologies, carolmiller100@gmail.com, 202-306-0130
Jamie Serino, Sterling Volunteers, Jamie.Serino@sterlingcheck.com
Greg Forrester, National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster, greg@nvoad.org


COVID-19 Response Guide for Public Health Officials



Available Now: covid-local.org








Visionlink's data science partner, Talus Analytics, has been working with the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) Bio team, the Center for Global Development, and the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security to create an authoritative guide for COVID-19 response.

In their words:

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant disruptions to cities and local communities in the US and around the world. Successful suppression of COVID-19 in the United States will require urgent and decisive action by state, local and community leaders across the country.

The COVID-19 Frontline Guide is intended to provide these leaders and public officials with a web-based decision support tool and progress indicators to assist in informed decision-making on how to combat COVID-19 in their jurisdictions. This guide provides a framework to help local leaders establish strategies to fight the outbreak, both by reducing transmission of the disease and by supporting their communities effectively.

The Guide is a joint project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) Bio team, the Center for Global Development, and the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security, in collaboration with Talus Analytics."


You can access the guide here.

Learn more about Visionlink's suite of disaster relief solutions, including Volunteer, Goods and Services Donations, Client and Case tools, Sheltering, COVID-19 Tracker and more. 

Help Colorado Now - Visionlink Tech Helps Fight COVID-19


Deployed by the State of Colorado, a new site for volunteers and donors is engaging helpful people across the state--by the thousands--who are heeding the Governor's call to volunteer and donate. You can join them here.  

Or catch up on the announcement from the Governor, and stories in the press. 

Governor's Office
Fox News
The Denver Channel, Channel 7
KKTV Channel 11
Colorado Public Radio
Westword
Denver Post

Visionlink is honored to provide the volunteer and donation technologies to support Colorado. Read more about our Disaster Technologies Suite and its volunteer, donor, shelter, client, case management and COVID-19 tracker modules. 




COVID-19 Infection & Quarantine Tracker


Community Infection & Quarantine Tracker Available Now


Visionlink announces the COVID-19 Infection and Quarantine Tracker for 2-1-1s, I&R Centers, Aging Agencies, Crisis Lines and Disaster Agencies. 

While the CDC focuses on policy and testing certifications, and as local hospitals prepare, local communities and their public health officials need access to accurate, daily information about the numbers of residents concerned about the virus, those you are symptomatic, and those who are in self-imposed or officially mandated quarantines.

Because the virus has so many undefined behaviors, daily status and symptom checks are critical for local and state response planning. 

The tracker is complete with on-line resources, scheduled reports, and phone or text surveys for status and symptoms. 

The Tracker is immediately available. Download the product sheet here

More information for 2-1-1's and I&R's.
More information for Aging Agencies and Crisis Lines.
More information for Disaster Relief Agencies.


New Web Site & Blog



Three Cheers!

Pleased to invite everyone to check out our new web site and this re-designed blog site!  You've found the blog, the web site is accessible across that menu bar above this posting, or directly at https://www.visionlink.org.

We hope we've done a great job explaining what we do, and showcasing the systems used by so many amazing customers and thought leaders.  If you have any suggestions please let us know!

We incorporated a wide range of new tech, using highly compressed video and graphics, and logically loading well-sequenced page components, matched to your device and bandwidth. In the end? We're delivering a site highly ranked for performance. It's brand new, so that score will increase as we optimize the code further.

Speed matters--whether we are loading up a web page, or launching a new solution.



Multi Language & Localization to the Next Level



Approximately 14% to 15% of adults in the U.S. and Canada speak something other than English or French at home.

So it is only right that we provide sophisticated language and localization tools to support all the people in a community. 


Web Sites 

Deploy in one or multiple languages. Do this with real-time, machine-based, or human translated content. Create content in different languages, or let the user select a language once they arrive.

Data Entry, Query and Result Options

Visitors, volunteers, and staff can use forms and tools deployed in different languages and dialects. Languages can be determined by role or permission, or the user can switch between languages from a form or module, or the user can see more than one language on the same tool at the same time. 

The Magic

The CommunityOS™ platform offers the extraordinary ability to build entire sets of data entry and search tools, as examples, from translated content--automatically. Start with a form in English, create the translations, and the system builds the forms in one or many other languages for you.

Translation Options

We support real-time browser-based translation, machine-based translation, and human translated content, forms, and tools. One or all of these can be used on the same Visionlink platform simultaneously. 

Database Level Support

Depending on the use case, systems can use different database fields for different languages, or the same field for different languages, or a mix--as if often the most appropriate approach. With the Advanced Package, customers have direct access to SQL data field creation, so fields in different languages can be deployed, named, and managed appropriately. 

Multi-Lingual APIs

Because language support can be constructed from the data table up, and because the system is built on the international character set, API data exchanges and our API Builder provide support for multi-lingual content. Authorized users can combine languages within a single API endpoint, or restrict a data exchange to a specific language. 

So join us on the CommunityOS platform from Visionlink! Let's embrace the diversity of language that defines our communities. 


5 Billion Data Field Exchanges A Month



What have we learned?

Moving so many fields of data every month has taught us a few things. The first is that the structure of your data matters a great deal, particularly if you need data exchanges to be quick and inexpensive. To do that--one needs to structure the data correctly in the first place.

Dry topic? Sorry. Here is a fun animation to make it more interesting. Caution: the music starts up in scene three, and you'll be humming the tune later today. It's less than three minutes long. Check it out here:

https://support.communityos.org/vl-video

More detail on Data Points

We track the traffic across our APIs by "data points" which is simply one data field exchanged one time. If a record with 50 fields on it is called 100 times, that would be 5,000 data points.

The amount of transferred data also depends on the amount of data in the fields that are exchanged or queried. Some fields may only have a few characters or a simple "yes" or "no." Other fields could have more lengthy eligibility information, and others could store tens of thousands of characters as in a time and date stamped notes field. However, to keep it simple, we ignore the contents of a field and then count how many times it is used in an exchange.

Our API Builder makes this easier as well--as this turns forms into API endpoints with a few clicks.  If we can help you become the hub for information in your area, let us know!

New Password Standards


None of us like passwords.

Well, except for the good they do for us.

New research from NIST helps us to understand better ways to build passwords, and Visionlink has released an upgrade to its CommunityOS 2 platform in response.

The most fundamental change in the standards by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), is about the frequency of forcing password changes. Survey says? Never.

That's right: in common use, requirements to change passwords every 30 or 180 days, as examples, result in less secure passwords.

The second major change concerns a previous recommendation to mix letters and numbers. Gone. And again, this is because the complexity causes real-world users to use passwords that can be broken too easily, and also because automated password breakers can easily deal with something like "st0rmC1ouds."

Repeated patterns (aaabbbccc) and sequences of adjacent keys on keyboards (jklnm), and common passwords are further examples of what we all should avoid.

Visionlink's recent release is designed to provide an indicator (with both bar length and color) of a user's password strength. It also analyzes your password request and responds with reminders of what needs to be be improved. We may also force resets if old passwords do not meet our new standards.

So, stay away from patterns and common names, colors, days of the week and letter and number replacements. Go for long random passwords or phrases. Use a password manager so you don't need to remember them all (and to manage a different password for every site.)

Stay secure everyone.

Visionlink Supports Dorian Response




Honored To Support Dorian

Visionlink systems are fully engaged with Hurricane Dorian response. The National Shelter System is being used to help manage dozens of shelters in Florida--and states north, as Dorian continues along its predicted track.

NVOAD is deploying a new situational reporting module for some states from Visionlink, to better coordinate the activities of partner agencies.

The Red Cross has deployed Safe and Well, to help reconnect friends and family after the storm, and financial assistance and case management solutions from Visionlink as well.

If you would like to check on currently open shelters you can visit the public view of the Shelter System at the Red Cross: Map of Open Shelters.

Visionlink offers advanced, expertly-designed solutions including volunteer, gifts-in-kind, situational awareness, client intake, case management, and other modules for disaster response. Each can be deployed separately or as an integrated suite.

Visionlink also provides the most advanced array of community services solutions to help communities organize and provide information about agencies and their services to individuals, families and through advanced data exchanges, to other partners working collaboratively.

For the most advanced communities, Visionlink solutions can be deployed for both grey and blue skies (during and in between disasters) so that leading organizations can support day-to-day needs, and then with those same solutions, when disasters strike. As we know, the most effective disaster relief solutions are those that are used every day.


Amazing Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Harvey



Project Comeback

Visionlink is proud to support the work of National VOAD's Project Comeback in Texas with our multi-agency Disaster Case Management solution, helping case managers from 14 nonprofit partners assist more than 12,000 households. 

Under a federally-funded case management grant, the 14 non-profit partners achieved some unbelievable outcomes in the last 18 months: 12,500 households served; 34,000 Texans in 33 counties; connected clients to 10,000 services or referrals; and the value of assistance to survivors was more than $38,000,000.

Using Visionlink's proprietary API Builder, National VOAD and the American Red Cross built a truly innovative solution to connect two systems to coordinate financial assistance. This connection enabled both agencies to coordinate millions of dollars of much needed financial assistance and deliver appropriate services to those most in need.

The case management module (which is part of a broader suite of disaster tools from Visionlink), was built with feedback from more than 50 voluntary agencies and dozens of thought-leaders in the case managment world. 
And the work continues! Congrats to the agency partners, their leadership and the case manager professionals.

Learn more about the American Red Cross, National VOAD and Visionlink.


FEMA Partnership Day



FEMA NVOAD Partnership Day!

This is an annual event designed to bring together governmental disaster agencies, non-governmental agencies, faith-based organizations and private sector providers who support disaster responders. Partnership day serves to familiarize everyone with the agency capabilities and technologies that are available when disasters strike. 

Visionlink attends due to our work with both government and nonprofit disaster agencies. We are pleased to provide systems used by both FEMA, and NVOAD and their member agencies. It is an honor to do so! 
Our systems are designed to allow the emergency management community to work more effectively whether that is through intake, case management, volunteering, contributed goods and services--and coordinated multi-agency collaboration.

The event is open to the public and is being hosted at the national FEMA headquarters in WDC. Learn more from FEMA and about NVOAD.

Tech Day at the Colorado Capitol




Tech-Blockchain Day

Visionlink was pleased to participate in the Tech - Blockchain Day at the Colorado State Capitol this week. Great times, meeting with other technical firms based here in the state, with representatives and senators, and with various legislative staff.

We enjoyed a pleasant discussion with Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera as well, talking about 2-1-1, I&Rs, Disaster solutions, and our work to help connect non profit agencies and their clients. Governor Jared Polis (below), spoke about the value of tech firms to the state and the critical nature of innovation and data security.

We also met some great folks working in adult and youth employment, enterprise level blockchain solutions and many others. Now for all the follow ups...!



Interoperability Made Real: Open Referral’s Data Standard





Visionlink is dedicated to data standards and data exchange as a necessary part of supporting successful communities. While the value of community services data may have been defined in the past by the strength of the walls around it, today however, tremendous value comes from the ability to be use appropriate data collaboratively among partners.

Visionlink has authored and supported standards for nearly two decades. Working with ANSI, U.S. Homeland Security, CAN, AIRS, and others, we have enjoyed the opportunity to work with colleagues on their standards and to author standards ourselves. In the community services market, we have converted, migrated, and exchanged more data than any other provider.

We are excited to formally support Open Referral’s standardized protocols for resource data exchange. You can learn more about Open Referral at https://openreferral.org, and see documentation for their Human Services Data Specification and related API protocols here: http://docs.openreferral.org.

The core concept is that many organizations serve as both users and producers of information about community services of all kinds. Among Visionlink’s customers as examples, these organizations range from 2-1-1s and Information and Referral centers, to AAA and ADRC's, to youth employment, disaster relief, refugee and immigrant focused solutions, food pantries, and many others. The recent focus on social determinants of health adds even more energy to the conversation about exchanging and updating agency, referral and service data. Each of organization shares a common interest in making it easier to share resource directory information in real-time.

To their credit, we believe that the good folks working on the Human Service Data Specification (HSDS) – and associated protocols developed by Open Referral – can meet the needs of the field, and are well positioned to mature as the field evolves.

Visionlink’s groundbreaking API Builder provides the foundation to support this standard, as it provides the real-time ability to convert simple forms into automatically deployed API endpoints for flexible, multi-purpose and multi-partner data exchanges.As this sector continues to evolve, we see ever greater needs to facilitate the responsible and effective exchange of community services data.

Visionlink adds its voice to both the concept and the deployment of this standard. We encourage our partners and the community at large to join in this work.

You can join in the conversation about Open Referral’s development yourself: their community is convened in this Google Group, and their technical conversations occur in their Github repository here.

And of course, contact us at solutions@visionlink.org. Let's build systems of systems that leverage what we each do, to help so many more.

February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day!




The next time you need help finding services go to 211.org, or dial 2-1-1. You’ll love the people that answer your call.

Visionlink is honored to support 10's of millions of searches and referrals every month for our 2-1-1 customers. We also contribute the technology to support the United Way Worldwide’s National 2-1-1 Locator, where you can find the 2-1-1 that serves your location: http://www.211.org/.

We have a busy year ahead, supporting new solutions in Washington (State 2-1-1 and Crisis Connections), Indiana (Real Services as well as the entire AAAA network across the state), a new Addiction Recovery site for Wisconsin 2-1-1, converting many current customers to our new platform, and thousands and thousands of Social Determinant Assessments. Plus of course, our work in disasters, volunteers, gifts-in-kind, and more. The most fun is when all of these projects connect back to 2-1-1 for community services. We are honored to work with our 2-1-1 partners and appreciate supporting your work!





Reconnecting Friends and Family


During the chaos and dislocation of the California fires, we are honored to deploy Safe and Well for the American Red Cross. Read here for a local story, and local authorities' request to use Safe and Well, as we all work together to reconnect friends and family.


To go to Safe and Well directly: Safeandwell.org

Volunteer Registry for Hurricanes Harvey & Irma






Thousands of volunteers have offered to assist in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. High-level government officials have directed these generous people to National VOAD and their member agencies.

We are honored that Visionlink, as a corporate partner, has been able to open access to the unaffiliated volunteer system to National VOAD and Volunteer Florida member organizations. Due to the ongoing uncertainty of Hurricane Irma, other states will be added as necessary. This system provides several powerful functions:

1. Volunteers can identify the disaster event they would want to volunteer for.

2. Allows unaffiliated volunteers to offer their services in an organized manner and specify their location, availability period, desired area of service, special skills, and language capabilities.

3. Allows volunteers to indicate a preferred organization to volunteer with.

4. Includes a background check capability conducted by Verified Volunteers.

5. Allows agency personnel a powerful search feature to locate the types of volunteers that will support your specific mission, contact them, recruit them and identify them as "deployed" to avoid multiple contacts.


If you would like to volunteer the system is currently accessible from the following sites:

For Texas: https://txvoad.communityos.org/cms/

For Puerto Rico: https://prvoad.communityos.org/cms/

For U.S. Virgin Islands: https://usvivoad.communityos.org/cms/

For Texas: https://www.nvoad.org/hurricane-harvey/volunteer/



Welcome to the Visionlink: Indiana 2-1-1


Welcome!


Visionlink is proud to welcome another new customer, Indiana 2-1-1. These good folks have created a statewide solution that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, aggregated and non-identified data is collected to assist communities in assessing needs and allocating resources.

We are pleased to support their work and will begin converting their data and using new API tools to assist their partnership efforts with other agencies and nonprofits across their fine state.

For additional information about 2-1-1 across the country, visit 211.us. To locate another 2-1-1 Center, visit 211.org.

Welcome aboard Indiana!

Welcome to 2-1-1 Wisconsin


We are pleased to welcome another new customer to the Visionlink network, 2-1-1 Wisconsin.

These professionals have created a comprehensive collection of vetted services that can support not only the people of the state but also the health care professionals, probation officers, social workers, family members, neighbors, and others assisting people in reaching the support and services that they need.

There are seven 2-1-1 contact centers in Wisconsin, divided regionally. The services are available 24 hours, every day, and all year.

Welcome aboard!

February 11 Is National 2-1-1 Day!

Image result for phone logo


Did you know that in 1997 the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta was the first to introduce a 2-1-1 service? Later, in 2000, the Federal Communications Commission approved 2-1-1 nationwide as a short number in the United States. The success 2-1-1 garnered in the United States then led to services in Toronto, Canada in 2002.

Today, Visionlink would like to say well done to all 2-1-1’s across North America and the qualified call specialists, the backbone of 2-1-1.


The United Way Worldwide declared February 11 as National 2-1-1 Day to recognize the importance of an anonymous, easy to remember 3-digit phone number, available 24/7. The service is confidential and helps people across North America find the local resources they need.1 2-1-1 provides a variety of different services including:
- Veteran Services
- Job/Workforce Assistance
- Food
- Crisis
- Housing
- Health
- Emergency and Disaster


National 2-1-1 day honors trained call and resource specialists and the many organizations which work so hard to connect the needs and assets in communities across the world. Every day, thousands of people across North America turn to 2-1-1 for information and referral support.

As of February 2015, 2-1-1 serves over 291 million Americans (93% of the entire population) covering all 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Congratulations!  Be proud of the work you do every day, everywhere across North America.

If you are curious to know more about 2-1-1 and how Visionlink supports 2-1-1s throughout the country, please visit: http://visionlink.org/communityOS-for-211-community-resources


Also, you can contact me directly at: marketing@visionlink.org

Have a Happy 2-1-1 Day!

Christmas Tornadoes Home Cleanup Hotline Available




Call 1-800-451-1954 for free help from local relief agencies in Texas, Miss., and other states.

BOULDER, Colo. – Dec. 29, 2015 – From now through January 15, 2016, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (www.ITDRC.org) and VisionLink (www.VisionLink.org), are staffing and supporting a free hotline for debris removal and home cleanup after the recent tornadoes affecting several southern states. This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted relief agencies that will assist in debris removal, tapping, and cleaning up homes, as they are able. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.

“Voluntary relief agencies play a vital role in whole community recovery. The police and fire departments are there for emergencies, but they don’t have the time or resources to clean out homes. This partnership helps connect survivors with local relief agencies working in the area,” said Al Benson, Central Division Director with ITDRC whose volunteers are staffing the hotlines.

“We are offering this service through January 15th to help facilitate rapid solutions by the various aid agencies standing by to assist those affected by the tornadoes," says Doug Zimmerman, CEO of VisionLink. This hotline will alert multiple relief agencies that survivors need help. All services are free and performed by vetted and reputable relief agencies and members of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), response times will vary so we ask residents their patience while the teams receive and organize their response to help.

Survivors needing assistance with home cleanup may call 1-800-451-1954.