What is the National 211 Initiative?

2-1-1 has more than 200 agencies across the United States, each staffed with compassionate and highly-trained community specialists who can help you gain access to the best local resources or services to address your needs.

211 responded to more than 41 million requests for help during the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021.  People can contact 211 by phone, text, and online. In 2021, the 211 network:

  • Answered more than 19.7 million phone calls
  • Responded to more than 1.4 million texts, web chats and emails
  • Made more than 23 million total connections to help.
  • Was designated by governors and health departments in 32 states as the official COVID-19 resource line.

National 211 Data Platform

United Way Worldwide and a group of 211 leaders launched the National 211 Data Platform (NDP) in 2016. The NDP enables the 211 Network to aggregate,  access, and share their proprietary data through a read-only repository. In addition to being a central platform for resource directory data, the NDP offers redundancy and back up to local systems and improves the sharing capabilities and standardization of data for other platforms like electronic health records or care coordinating systems.  At its core, the NDP does not replace local systems that 211s use to manage data and calls but adds value to and reduces duplicative costs for individual 211 agencies. The platform curates data from across different localities and states into one source while the data owners maintain their ownership.

Standards for 2-1-1 Call Centers

National organizations interested in developing 2-1-1 across the country have adopted standards for National Standards for 2-1-1 Call Centers. These standards include:

  • 24 hour coverage, year-round
  • Utilization of certified information and referral specialists
  • Computerized I&R database with client information collection capability
  • Use of the AIRS/ InfoLine Taxonomy
  • Quality service and inquirer satisfaction through appropriate follow-up
  • For more information, review the National Standards for 2-1-1.

To learn more about how 2-1-1 is increasing across the country, visit National 2-1-1.