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NY Connects Helpline Offers Services To Local Seniors

Do you have questions about what programs and services are available in our community? Are you looking for a medical or community service and tired of calling 20 different places to find out where to get help for yourself or a loved one?

We have a solution: Call NY Connects first. NY Connects is a helpline answered by real people in every county in NY State. The helpline is designed to connect people of all ages to local programs and services and is assisted by an extensive computer database. Specially trained operators know the criteria for the programs and many times can get you to the person who can help you enroll without having to make another call. NY Connects is different from other helplines in that they ask questions about your situation so they can not only give you choices about the services you think you need but they can direct you to programs you may not have known were available. NY Connects is a free service and is available to everyone. Call NY Connects first to answer questions about Medicaid, Medicare, food programs, housing, legal assistance, home repairs, support groups, exercise classes and much, much more!

In Chautauqua County, the NY Connects helpline is answered in both the Office for the Aging and with Southwestern Independent Living center. The purpose of this partnership allows anyone to get connected to services and programs regardless of where they enter into the system-this is called “No Wrong Door”. Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, Southwestern Independent Living center, New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, Chautauqua County Mental Health and Hygiene all work together to understand the needs of people calling into NY Connects.

Anyone can make a referral to NY Connects. NY Connects keeps all calls confidential.

People do not have to reveal who they are when they call the help line for information or if they have concern about someone in the community. If the person who calls is in need of a social worker or another health professional then NY Connects contacts the appropriate agency for follow-up. This could be an Office for the Aging case manager, a nurse with Early Intervention in the Health Department, an adult protective services worker, or the Southwestern Independent Living Center.

NY Connects works with you to get you the program or service you need in the easiest way possible. If you inquire about a program that requires an application, they will send you the application in the mail and direct you to someone who can help complete the application if needed. If it is a program that does not require an application many times the operator can get things started for you without you having to make another call. NY Connects is a free to the caller and community. We work closely with many community partners and not-for-profit agencies.

So call NY Connects first! The NY Connects toll free is 1-800-342-9871. Our local office numbers are 753-4582, 363-4582, 661-7582, fax 753-4844 or e-mail us at CCNYC@co.chautauqua.ny.us. Southwestern Independent Living NY Connects at 661-3010 or 450-3960.

The state NY Connects Resource Directory can be found at www.nyconnects.ny.gov. This is a great tool that allows you to search for services yourself. Call and/or visit NY Connects for assistance.

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