Q:

What is a 211 helpline?

A:

Quick Answer

United Way Worldwide promotes and supports 2-1-1, a toll-free number that provides callers with resources for local health and human services providers. Community resource specialists throughout North America respond daily to thousands of calls, according to 211.org.

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Full Answer

Contact methods for 2-1-1 include phone and Internet, and a strict privacy policy and security measures are in place to protect personal information that users may disclose. Resources vary on the local level, but generally they do include disaster relief and requests for emergency aid.

Information provided to 2-1-1 users include options for shelter and housing, food and nutrition programs, assistance with utilities and opportunities for work and education. Victims of domestic violence receive information about domestic violence organizations that may help with finding refuge from physical and emotional abuse.

Ex-offenders can call to inquire about help with re-entry options. Individuals may also get information concerning programs for addiction prevention and rehabilitation. The community resource specialists may also provide contact information for veterans' services.

Referrals for health services may include general health care and immunization resources. Mental health resources may include support groups for a range of needs, including mental illnesses. In the event of an epidemic or similar emergencies, 2-1-1 can assist the caller in locating aid.

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