What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is a phone number that connects people with important community services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assigned 2-1-1 nationwide as the phone number to dial for help with health and human services. Nearly 283 million people have access to 2-1-1 systems in 50 states, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
When you call 2-1-1, you are connected to an information and referral provider in your area, if service is available. Our 2-1-1 program serves Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Medina, Portage, Wayne and Holmes Counties and is a partnership of United Way of Ashland County, United Way of Greater Cleveland, United Way Services of Geauga County, United Way of Medina County, United Way of Portage County and United Way of Wayne & Holmes Counties. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, every day in these counties.
If you need to locate a 2-1-1 service in another area, visit www.211.org for assistance.
Allen County's 2-1-1 service launched in December 2010. United Way of Greater Lima received a grant from Ohio United Way to implement 2-1-1. Additional funding is provided by a variety of community partners and United Way funding. Prior to 2-1-1, the county welfare department provided Information and Referral services. United Way staff supplemented that service by responding to all calls coming into the office.
Ashland County's 2-1-1 service launched in February of 2012. United Way of Ashland County received a grant from United Parcel Service (UPS) to implement 2-1-1. Additional funding is provided by the interest established in endowment accounts from individuals that have left a legacy in their estates to help improve lives in Ashland County. No campaign contributions are used to fund the 2-1-1 initiative.
Cuyahoga County's First Call For Help has been providing service under many forms since 1949, including the Community Information Volunteer Action Center (CIVAC). On February 11, 2004, when 2-1-1 service became active in Cuyahoga County, First Call For Help changed its name to 2-1-1/First Call For Help, which has since been changed to United Way 2-1-1.
United Way 2-1-1 receives funding from the Cuyahoga County Department of Senior and Adult Services, the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County, and United Way of Greater Cleveland.
Geauga County's First Call For Help has been providing service since 1968 under the name InfoLine Volunteer Center. In February of 2005, InfoLine changed its name to 2-1-1/First Call For Help. In addition to information and referral, the Geauga 2-1-1 service provides emergency safety net programs for financial assistance and food.
2-1-1/First Call For Help receives funding from United Way Services of Geauga County, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, Geauga County Community Action Agency, and Geauga Job and Family Services.
Lawrence County 2-1-1 is the first comprehensive resource and referral source for the county. United Way of the River Cities worked with multiple partners within the county to establish 2-1-1 in 2013. Funding for the first year comes from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services through the Ohio United Way.
Medina County's First Call For Help has been connecting Medina County residents to information since 1991 under the name Infolink. In February of 2006, Infolink changed its name to 2-1-1/First Call For Help.
2-1-1/First Call For Help receives funding and/or support from United Way of Medina County, Medina County Commissioners, and Medina County District Library.
Portage County's First Call for Help has been providing service since 1978. In 2004, First Call for Help changed its name to United Way's 2-1-1 Portage. 2-1-1 Portage is funded by United Way of Portage County through the annual campaign. 2-1-1 also works with AARP on the Tax-Aide program in Portage County.
Wayne and Holmes Counties
For more than 32 years, United Way of Wayne & Holmes Counties has had the only comprehensive information and referral service in the area, formerly known as Wayne-Holmes Information and Referral Exchange and most recently, Infolink. As of September 2010, Infolink will become known as 2-1-1.
2-1-1 Infolink receives funding from United Way of Wayne & Holmes Counties, Orrville Area United Way and Area Agency on Aging.
Can 2-1-1 Help Me?
2-1-1 can assist anyone looking for social service, health and government resources in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Medina, Wayne or Holmes Counties. Last year, over 250,000 people were helped. You can call for yourself, a friend, or a family member.
Social workers and case managers can use 2-1-1 to locate resources for their clients. 2-1-1 provides information about agencies that serve people from birth through older adulthood. Anyone seeking information on available community resources can use 2-1-1.
2-1-1 can also assist non-profits, researchers, and community planners in a variety of ways. We can create reports and directories based on our call and agency data.
What can I expect when I call?
When someone dials 2-1-1, they will be connected to a professional Information Specialist who will find out what the caller needs and then search for programs that may be able to help. We try to give at least three resources (names of agencies and phone numbers) for each need.
When you call, you will also be asked for your zip code and age. We need to ask these things to make sure that you are eligible for the programs and that they are close to you. In most cases, you will not be asked for your name.
The Information Specialist you speak with will give you important information on how to access the services you need. You will want to write down that information, so it is a good idea to have a pen and paper ready when you call.
How is 2-1-1 different from 9-1-1 or 4-1-1?
2-1-1 is for non-emergency calls related to health and social services.
4-1-1 is for directory assistance.
9-1-1 is for emergency calls where fire, police, or medical response is needed.
Is there a charge for dialing 2-1-1?
You will not be charged for dialing 2-1-1 from your home phone. If you call 2-1-1 from a pay phone you will be charged for a local call. You will use minutes when you dial 2-1-1 from a cell phone.
What if dialing 2-1-1 does not work?
If you are having problems reaching us by dialing 2-1-1, use one of the alternate numbers found on our Contact Us page. Please let the Information Specialist who answers your call know that you tried dialing 2-1-1 but it did not work. The Specialist will ask you for your area code and prefix (area code + the next 3 numbers of your phone number). This will help us fix the problem. Dialing 2-1-1 works from most cell phones, but your ability to reach us will depend on your location, your carrier/company and the age of your cell phone. Some businesses will need to remove any internal phone system blocks to use 2-1-1.
What type of information can 2-1-1 provide?
2-1-1 maintains information on more than 2,000 health and human service agencies. Together, these agencies offer over 10,000 different services. A team of professional, Certified Research Specialists update the listings daily as needed, and all agencies are sent a review packet once a year.
Our database contains detailed information on each program including a description, eligibility, required documents, intake/access method, fees, hours of service and phone numbers. In addition, we have information on the agency, such as its web site, name of the executive director, year organized, travel instructions and other items.
Information provided through 2-1-1 includes such services as:
- Basic needs such as food, clothing, housing and utility assistance.
- Health and mental health resources such as Medicaid, Medicare, community clinics, support groups and counseling
- Work support such as job training and education programs.
- Supports for older adults and persons with disabilities such as adult day care, Meals on Wheels, home health care and transportation.
- Youth and family services such as Head Start, recreation programs, parenting help, child support and custody, mentoring and tutoring …and much more, including agencies that accept your donated items
Click here to browse our database by service categories.
Does inclusion of information on this web site mean that the agency or service has been approved by 2-1-1?
The listings in the database are based on information supplied by agency representatives. Inclusion does not imply endorsement nor does exclusion imply disapproval. Every effort has been made to supply complete and accurate information; however, 2-1-1 makes no representation with respect to the accuracy and completeness of the contents of the database and specifically disclaims any implied responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided, and shall in no event be held liable for any loss or damage.
Agencies may be absent from the database due to the inclusion/exclusion policy of 2-1-1. 2-1-1 also reserves the right to prioritize and limit inclusion. Factors such as staffing, funding and agency participation affect the extent to which all eligible agencies can be included.
2-1-1 cannot endorse nor guarantee quality for the services and agencies contained on this web site. 2-1-1 does not oversee the delivery of their services.
How do I get my agency listed in the database?
If you would like your agency to be added to our database, email us. A Certified Resource Specialist will call to see if your agency meets our inclusion criteria. 2-1-1 will not generally include for-profit businesses, private practitioners, or retailers. Other restrictions may also apply.