2-1-1 Virginia


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