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2-1-1

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2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. The implementation of 2-1-1 is being spearheaded by United Way and comprehensive and specialized information and referral agencies in states and local communities. United Way of America (UWA) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) strongly support federal funding so that every American has access to this essential service.


Contents

History

For many years New York Telephone (now a unit of Verizon) used 2-1-1 as an automated credit request number for disconnected or mis-dialed calls. This service was in service from the 1970's through the early 2000's.

United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta was the first to introduce a 2-1-1 service in 1997. Many states began implementation plans soon after, aided by the United Way of America in partnership with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (www.airs.org). On July 20, 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved 2-1-1 for nation-wide use as a short number in the United States along with 5-1-1. In Texas, particularly in the Coastal Bend area, 2-1-1 is also the number to call for elderly and handicapped people needing evacuation assistance in the event of a pending disaster such as a hurricane.


2-1-1 Programs

2-1-1 centers provide a multitude of community services and programs. Here is a list of some of these community programs:

  • Addiction counseling
  • Affordable housing
  • Alzheimer's disease assistance
  • Child care
  • Debt counseling
  • Disaster relief
  • Donation opportunities
  • Education
  • Emergency food, such as food banks and soup kitchens
  • ESL
  • Financial assistance
  • Homeless services
  • Job counseling
  • Medication Refill Reminders
  • Parenting programs
  • Psychotherapy counseling
  • Senior citizen programs
  • Suicide prevention
  • Telephone reassurance, care for the elderly
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Youth programs


Assistive Technology and 2-1-1

Although not limited to just senior programs, the 2-1-1 initiative does overlap many of the programs and services found in assisted living and assistive programs.


References