Dialing 2-1-1 connects people in Virginia with resources in their community, 24 hours a day
What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral (I&R). 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that makes a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. 2-1-1 makes it possible for people in need to navigate the complex and ever-growing maze of human services’ agencies and programs by making services easier to access. 2-1-1 encourages prevention and fosters self-sufficiency.
2-1-1 VIRGINIA began February 11, 2006, built on a system of Information and Referral dating back to the 1960’s. The Commonwealth of Virginia has been a supporter of the system, writing it into the Code of Virginia in 1984. Virginia was the first in the nation to implement an interconnected statewide Information & Referral system.
The Virginia Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (VAIRS) spearheaded the 2-1-1 effort in the Commonwealth. 2-1-1 VIRGINIA is a great example of a public-private partnership. the Council of Community Services administers the sole source contract for 2-1-1 VIRGINIA. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in 150 different languages. Community Outreach Specialists are available throughout the Commonwealth to provide 2-1-1 information and gather new resource information.
Facts about 2-1-1 Virginia
- There are close to 7,000 agencies and more than 18,000 programs in the database, making 2-1-1 VIRGINIA one of the largest health and human services databases in the state.
- Easy to remember, 3-digit phone number that connects residents to a trained Community Resource Specialist 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
- The 2-1-1 VIRGINIA database is available online at 211virginia.org.
- 2-1-1 VIRGINIA adheres to national standards developed by the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS)
- 2-1-1 reduces the need for costly 1-800 numbers and non-emergency 9-1-1 calls.
- 2-1-1 VIRGINIA Community Resource Specialists are certified by AIRS and meet its national standards
- Specialists have expertise in helping callers by identifying individual needs
- When a caller needs help navigating the system, specialists advocate for them
- Serves multi-lingual callers through multi-lingual 2-1-1 Specialists as well an interpreter service that supports 200 languages
- Follow-ups are conducted to evaluate access to needed services
- Connects volunteers and donors to opportunities in the community
- Statewide resource database adheres to national AIRS standards
- Resource Specialists responsible for the database are also AIRS certified
- Identifies community needs and trends that can aid in community planning
For more information, contact:
2-1-1 State Director: Rob Morrow, Council of Community Services (Roanoke)
Phone: (540) 339-9149
2-1-1 Statewide Database: Joan Phelps; United Way of Central Virginia (Lynchburg)
Northern Virginia/Northwestern Virginia: MaryEllen Hutchinson; Council of Community Services
Southwest Virginia: Pam Turner; Council of Community Services
Tidewater: Elaina Dariah; The Planning Council (Norfolk)
Richmond/Southside: Altise Street; United Way of Greater Richmond/Petersburg
2-1-1 National Coverage
In 2013, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 15.6 million calls. Nationally 2-1-1 covers 90.6% of the nation with every state at least partially covered. To search for 2-1-1 providers throughout the U.S., please visit www.211.org