Finding Answers May Just Be a Click Away

If you’ve been waiting for an online directory of health and human resources to become as readily available as finding your nearest Starbucks, you’ve just hit the jackpot. At some time or another, everybody needs helpful resources on various topics and services. In response to that need, the State of North Carolina is in the process of developing NCcareLink, a user-friendly Web Site that will put thousands of service contacts at the public’s fingertips. The Internet-based service www.NCcareLINK.gov, will bring together the extensive database of CARE-LINE – the state’s toll-free telephone human resources information and referral service, and additional information from hundreds of other agencies across the state.

“By this time next year, this will be one of the most comprehensive databases for such services in the nation, said Carmen Hooker Odom, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. At the end of this fiscal year, we estimate that 40,000 government, faith-based, non-profit, and for profit agencies will be in the database. In addition to CARE-LINE, local and other statewide agencies can also access this database to assist citizens who call them.”

If you have Internet access through a home computer, a public library or senior center in any North Carolina county, you will have a connection to a database that can help you find information about services available to help meet some of your most challenging dilemmas. In addition to providing useful consumer information, the database will help to ensure that state emergency responders have the capability to meet a variety of human service needs should a disaster strike anywhere in the state.

The project was initiated in 2003 and received funding from an Aging and Disability Resources Center grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the state of North Carolina. The NCcareLINK project is a partnership that includes 21 hubs, or collection centers for information incorporated into the database. The hubs include partner agencies that help assure that the database reflects up-to-date services in your communities.

With the click of the mouse and a few keystrokes, visitors to www.NCcareLINK.gov will find information ranging from assistance for people with disabilities and special needs to answers about housing, healthcare and transportation. Watch for details regarding the launch of this exciting new website. Until then, you may still access the CARE-LINE by telephone for assistance at the same toll-free numbers: 1-800-662-7030 (English/Spanish), or 1-877-452-2514 (TTY) and check out our next issue of All For Seniors, for a step-by-step guide to using this wonderful new resource provided by NCcareLink.

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