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Memphis 211 expands access to social services with social workers and community outreach 

Memphis 211 expands access to social services with social workers and community outreach 

Memphis, TN-  Memphis Public Libraries is expanding its Linc-211 services to include licensed social workers to serve the community better.

Two full-time social workers and outreach specialists will be based at five Memphis Public Library Branches around the city. Customers that need assistance can also access services at any  Memphis Library location by calling 211 and setting up an appointment at their local library branch.

Implementing social workers in Memphis Public Libraries aims to help combat the rates of gun violence, recidivism, unemployment, mental health crisis and other factors that youth and adults face due to the lack of access to or knowledge of proper social services.

“The social workers are just a wonderful extension of the work we already do. They will be able to help people where they are. People can come to the library and not only ask about books, but they can also ask about housing, other issues that may come up,” said Kimberly Jordan -Fluker, Regional Manager/Linc-211.

Social Workers and outreach specialists will be at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, Whitehaven, East Shelby, Hollywood, and Raleigh from 10 AM to 6 PM Monday thru Friday. The service is free to anyone who needs assistance.

Fluker said the expansion of 211 services makes sense. Linc-211 houses a database of resources to assist the public. Last year 211 specialists answered nearly 83,000 calls requesting information. Most callers asked for referrals connected to food, housing, and employment. For example, social workers can refer customers to agencies for mental health services, education, immigration, or job assistance.  

 “This is something we have needed in the Memphis Public Library System for a long time. Libraries are often the front door for underserved populations in our community. Expanding  211 to include social workers allows us better assist those individuals that need our help,” said Memphis Public Libraries Director Keenon McCloy.

Librarians, outreach specialists, and social workers will use a team approach. They will not only make referrals for the basics, such as housing, food, or healthcare but can also connect youth with educational opportunities, training, and skills to find gainful employment. Team members will also help youth receive job readiness training, such as interviewing skills, resume writing, workplace communication,  and conflict resolution.

“Increasing opportunities for our youth is crucial. But unfortunately, nearly 30,000 youth in our community are not enrolled in school or working. With the help of these social workers,  Memphis Public Libraries is the place to connect our youth with the services they need to succeed,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. For more information visit

Memphis Public Libraries has been providing referral services since 1975 and became known as Linc-211 in 2005.