Clerk’s Office Connects Customers to Crisis Help & More
New 2-1-1 Phones Provide Crisis Intervention, While Donated
Cell Phones Will Help Victims of Domestic Violence
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (December 17, 2008) Clerk Sharon Bock announced two initiatives that put crisis intervention and other assistance directly in the hands of those who need it. The office has partnered with 2-1-1 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast to provide 2-1-1 “red phones” at Clerk Self Service Centers throughout Palm Beach County. The phones offer immediate access to crisis intervention, counseling and other community resources. The Clerk’s office also donated nearly 40 used cell phones to Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and Harmony House. Domestic violence victims can use the phones to call 911 in an emergency.
THE FULL STORY
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (December 17, 2008) Clerk & Comptroller Sharon Bock announced Wednesday two initiatives that put crisis intervention and other assistance directly in the hands of those who need it. The first, a partnership with 2-1-1 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, makes Palm Beach County’s Clerk & Comptroller’s office one of the first in the state to offer 2-1-1 "red phones." The phones, now available at the Clerk’s Self Service Centers located in the main courthouse and several branch locations, provide immediate access to referral services, crisis intervention and counseling. Just by picking up a 2-1-1 red phone, customers can directly connect with community resources, including referrals to legal, housing and domestic violence assistance and more.
"The Clerk's Self Service Centers provide more than 70,000 people a year with a user-friendly approach into the court system," said Clerk Sharon Bock. "For years we've partnered with Legal Aid to provide discounted legal assistance and have offered a variety of referral services. However, this 2-1-1 partnership puts even more services and information at customers' fingertips."
The second initiative also connects people to potentially lifesaving help. On Wednesday, Clerk Bock presented donated cell phones to two local community groups that help victims of domestic violence. Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) and the YWCA Harmony House received almost 40 phones that will be used by abuse victims to call 911 in an emergency. Each October, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Clerk’s office begins collecting cell phones from employees and customers to support this 911 emergency phone program.
“This, along with the new 2-1-1 red phones available at several of our Self Service Centers, could make a huge difference in the lives of those who truly need it,” said Clerk Bock.
Self Service Centers, your go-to source for help navigating the court system in Palm Beach County, help nearly 90,000 customers a year while offering up to 60 different legal forms with instructions on how to file a variety of cases, such as small claims, evictions, divorce and adoption. The centers also offer notary services, passport photos and Video Relay Service which assists the hearing impaired through live video conferencing offered in English and Spanish.
Each year, 2-1-1 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast connects nearly 200,000 callers to more than 3,000 free services. The non-profit organization has seen an almost consistent increase in calls this year over 2007. For more information about the Self Service Center, call 561-355-7048 or visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com. For information about obtaining a 911 emergency phone, please call AVDA at (561) 265-3797 or the YWCA Harmony House at (561) 640-0050.
Clerk Sharon Bock (center) joins (l to r) Katie Fallon, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse; Susan Buza, 2-1-1 Palm Beach/Treasure Coast; and Mary Cauthen, YWCA Harmony House, to announce two initiatives that provide crisis help to those in need.
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The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.