What is 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community.

A single access point for every day needs and in times of crisis.  For example, 2-1-1 can offer access to the following types of services:

  • Basic Human Needs Resources: food, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance.
  • Physical and Mental Health Resources: medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention, rehabilitation, health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health and children’s health insurance programs.
  • Employment Support: unemployment benefits, financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs.
  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: home health care, adult day care, congregate meals, respite care, transportation, and homemaker services.
  • Support for Children, Youth and Families: Quality childcare, after school programs, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.
  • Volunteer opportunities and donations.

Part of a growing national network, 2-1-1 serves over 240 million Americans (more than 86.6% of the entire population) covering all or part of all states (including 33 states with 90%+ coverage) plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico. The remaining states are all in various stages of planning and implementation. Every few weeks, these coverage numbers increase.

How Does 2-1-1 Work in Louisiana?

2-1-1 statewide coverage is made possible by the partnership between the Southwest Louisiana Education and Referral Center Inc.(the nation’s 4th 2-1-1 center in the country) d/b/a- 232-HELP/2-1-1, VIA LINK/2-1-1, Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center/2-1-1, The Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana/310-INFO/2-1-1, United Way of Northeast Louisiana/United Way 2-1-1 and the Louisiana Association of United Ways.  Louisiana is one of 18 states that provides 2-1-1 services across the entire state.

  • Is the largest comprehensive Information and Referral system in Louisiana, serving 64 parishes
  • It is our goal to become staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Provides multilingual services and information for the hearing impaired
  • Provided over 700,000 referrals in 2008 including disaster related calls in response to Hurricane Gustav and Ike 
  • Maintains a computerized database of over 15,000 resources and services statewide
  • Works in collaboration with non-profit agencies, faith-based organizations, and government.
  • Abides by the standards established by Alliance of Information and Referral Systems and is endorsed by United Way Worldwide.


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