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What is 2-1-1?

Smiling call center man

Get Connected. Get Help.

Every hour of every day, someone in Illinois needs help locating and connecting with essential community services. On February 11, 2009, 2-1-1 made its debut in 13 counties to help residents find fast, free and confidential help for health and human services. In 2017, 2-1-1 has reached over 60 counties and still counting.

2-1-1 is for times of non-emergency crisis as well as for everyday needs. The 2-1-1 call specialists are available to help individuals locate health and human service assistance, on everything from mortgage assistance, EITC tax help and food and shelter, to job counseling services and health resources.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with important community services, such as:

  • Basic Human Needs: such as food, shelter, rent and utility assistance
  • Physical and Mental Health Resources: such as health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, medical information lines, crisis intervention services
  • Employment Supports: such as job training, transportation assistance, education programs
  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: such as adult day care, respite care, home health care, independent living programs
  • Support for Children, Youth and Families: such as after school programs, family resource centers, mentoring, tutoring, protective services

211 Services

Five different 211 Contact Centers provide 24/7 services covering 81 counties in Illinois. Three of the six centers are nationally accredited by Inform USA. The remaining are in the accreditation process. Each 211 Contact Center provides multilingual services by phone and text. They also have published to their website a 211 referral directory of national, statewide, and local organizations for self-referral.

211 coverage map with 99%