How Does the United Way's 2-1-1 Program Work?


Quick Answer

United Way 2-1-1 is a three-digit phone number that residents of Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin can call to receive confidential information related to health and human services. All resources provided by United Way through the 2-1-1 hotline are free. Services range from basic needs to information about mental health and public safety.

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Full Answer

To use the United Way 2-1-1 system, callers must dial 2-1-1, which redirects them to a hotline where they are connected to a specialist relating to the caller's inquiry. The 2-1-1 system is only applicable for residents of Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin that include Douglas, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. The hot line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is fully staffed by trained specialists.

United Way 2-1-1 offers services such as criminal justice, legal and education information along with resources for environmental and public health and safety, and health care. Other available resources include mental health information and income support. An extensive list of offered services is accessible at 211UnitedWay.org.

The 2-1-1 database offers more than 40,000 programs and services to individuals, which are narrowed according to the caller's search criteria; such criteria includes either a service category, agency name or keyword. As of 2016, there are five call center hubs and six resource hubs in Minnesota, and about half the received calls are inquiries about basic needs.

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