2-1-1 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human
services Information and Referral. 2-1-1 is a free and easy-to-remember, universally
recognizable number that makes a critical connection between individuals and
families seeking services or volunteer opportunities and the appropriate
community-based organizations and government agencies. 2-1-1 makes it possible
for people to navigate the complex and ever-growing maze of human service agencies
and programs. By making services easier to access, 2-1-1 encourages
prevention and fosters self-sufficiency. It also is hoped that it will reduce the
number of non-emergency calls inappropriately made to 911.
Often people can not easily access the information or service they need
because they do not know whom to call. There is no simple way to remember
the name or number of the local service access point. The creation of 2-1-1
has changed that.
Within the Commonwealth there are literally thousands of phone numbers for
health and social service programs, government offices, community organizations,
volunteer referral centers, donation clearinghouses, educational systems and
neighborhood groups. There are over 100 comprehensive and specialized
Information and Referrals (I&Rs) in the Commonwealth, each with its own
name and 10 digit phone number.