June 28, 2006

211 Service

You know about 911 for emergencies, and 411 (or 1-800-FREE411 as mentioned in a previous post) for information, but have you heard about 211?

211 is the number to call when you do not know whom to call, the place to turn to when you aren’t sure where to turn for help. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 211 and get information about resources in your local community. No matter if, you need help finding food or housing, childcare, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment, it’s the only number you need to know.

211 is a free and confidential information and referral phone line staffed by nationally certified specialists 24/7. When you dial 211, you are connected to an area information center in your region. These trained experts have access to the most comprehensive database of community-based organizations, government agencies and non-profit organizations that do business in Texas. Information can be provided in many languages.

211 is also a part of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Homeland Security plan as a tool for sharing information and mobilizing resources during a statewide or national disaster. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks in New York calls increased significantly to community organizations as families looked for missing loved ones, people became stranded at airports and persons needing counseling services to cope. It was out of such need that 211 was created. So if you ever find yourself needing help just dial 211 for quick assistance.

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