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About 2-1-1

2-1-1 is an integrated system of help via the telephone - a single source for information about community services, referrals to human services, and crisis intervention. It is accessed toll-free from anywhere in Connecticut by simply dialing 2-1-1. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Multilingual call specialists and TDD access is available.

Infoline (now 2-1-1) was created in 1976 as a public/private partnership of United Way and the State of Connecticut. By the mid-eighties, it had gained national recognition as a model system. In 1995, 2-1-1 was certified in crisis intervention by the American Association of Suicidology.

In 1998, the Governor and Legislature supported the initiative for an easy-to-remember, three-digit 2-1-1 number for health and human services resources. The number went into effect in March 1999, replacing 1-800-203-1234. Though there are numerous information and referral services throughout the country, Connecticut is the first state in the nation to use 2-1-1 statewide.

In July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission designated 2-1-1 as the number to call nationally for information about health and human services. United Way of Connecticut was a leader in making the three-digit number accessible nationwide and is now involved in helping other states set up their 2-1-1 systems.

How 2-1-1 helps callers

Indiana residents can call 2-1-1 for many different types of help. Professional call specialists help callers with such complex issues as substance abuse, gambling, domestic violence programs, suicide prevention, financial problems, and much more. Other callers may simply be looking for volunteer opportunities. By dialing 2-1-1, a caller is connected with an 2-1-1 call specialist who helps the caller assess their situation and find the community services in their area that can assist them. It’s important for people to remember that 911 remains the number to call for police, fire or EMS emergency response and 411 remains the number to call for telephone directory information.

Serving Agencies, Government and Businesses

2-1-1 has developed the state’s most comprehensive database of human service resources. It is continuously updated, providing the foundation for mailing list, a statewide directory available on CD Rom, and a searchable database on our web site. The collection of data on demographics and caller problems provides another valuable resource by presenting an overview of the problems facing Connecticut residents. This data is used for many types of human-needs assessments in the state.

Customized arrangements enable many non-profit agencies to provide after-hours coverage for their clients. 2-1-1 call specialists screen calls and access agency staff when crisis intervention is necessary.

Some 2-1-1 Facts

  • Over 300,000 people in Connecticut called 2-1-1 last year. Help is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 2-1-1 has multilingual call specialist and is accessible to the hearing-impaired by TDD.
    The most frequently requested services are: Financial Assistance, Food, Protective Services, Legal Assistance, Child Care, Utilities/Heat, Social Support, Housing, and Mental Health.
  • 2-1-1 is fully certified in crisis intervention by the American Association of Suicidology since 1995.

Some Typical Calls

  • The mother of a 12-year-old seeks counseling for her son who is not going to school regularly.
  • A single mother is worried about the gas shutoff notice she just received.
  • A landlord has been threatened by a tenant who has damaged his apartment, moved out, and now wants security deposit back.
  • A caller is depressed, considering suicide and wants help.
  • A young woman with a disability inquires about available transportation.
  • The caller needs information about eligibility for Food Stamps.
  • A guidance counselor is searching for a parenting education course for a teen father.
  • A recent widower is looking for a social group to join.
  • A caller with gambling problems seeks services for help.
  • A traveler wants to know how to get a passport.
  • A teenager has problems at home, a father who drinks, and needs someone to talk to.
  • An older man has been caring for his wife, who has advancing Alzheimer’s symptoms. He is now exhausted and needs assistance and respite.
  • A recently divorced employee is frequently missing work; he needs affordable, reliable child care.

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