Call 211 For Non-Emergency Assistance

What happens when you call 211

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HOUSTON (KIAH) –  Did you know there is an essential community resource that can assist you when you need it anytime? In times of need, like during a weather emergency or power outage, knowing where to turn for help can make all the difference. One of the most valuable yet often overlooked resources is the 211 service. It’s always available to the public, even locally.

What is 211?

211 is FREE and provides important information, and can be most useful for anyone without the internet, who may need questions and answers when you can’t search online. It can also provide referrals to a wide range of social services. If you need housing assistance, food resources, healthcare, mental health support, employment services, call 211. Need something else we didn’t mention, call 211 and ask about anything else you might need. 

Something else to be sure of is that this resource is confidential and multilingual. 211 can also connect folks with resources available across the U.S. and in parts of Canada.


What Happens When You Call 211?

1. Initial Connection: When you dial 211, you will be greeted by an automated system that helps direct your call. Depending on your region, you may be immediately connected to a live operator, or you might need to navigate a simple menu to specify the nature of your call.

2. Speaking with a Specialist: Once connected, a trained community resource specialist will listen to your needs. These specialists are knowledgeable about the local resources available and are trained to handle a variety of issues, from emergency shelter needs to finding a food pantry.

3. Assessment and Referral: The specialist will assess your situation and provide referrals to appropriate services. This could involve providing contact information, explaining how to access certain services, or even offering to directly connect you with a service provider.

4. Follow-Up Support: Some 211 services offer follow-up calls to ensure you were able to access the help you needed and to provide further assistance if necessary.

Types of assistance available through 211

211 services cover a broad spectrum of needs. Here are some common types of assistance you can receive:

  • Housing and Shelter: Emergency shelter, transitional housing, rent assistance, and utility support.
  • Food and Nutrition: Locations of food banks, soup kitchens, and meal delivery services.
  • Healthcare: Information on free or low-cost clinics, mental health services, substance abuse programs, and health insurance.
  • Employment: Job training programs, unemployment benefits information, and job search assistance.
  • Financial Assistance: Resources for financial counseling, emergency financial aid, and tax assistance.
  • Crisis Support: Support for those experiencing domestic violence, child abuse, or other emergencies.

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