211 is a statewide service in Alabama funded through all the United Ways in Alabama, a collaboration of all 21 local United Ways in our state. It is always free and always confidential with call specialists available 24/7/365 with a friendly voice on the line to help those in need. Locally, United Way staff works with area agencies and organizations to keep the resources in the 211 database up-to-date for our area and they are always looking for new resources to better serve our communities.
211 was launched by United Way Worldwide almost 20 years ago as a free “one-stop” way to connect people to essential resources. In Alabama, all our 211 call centers were linked together following Hurricane Katrina in recognition that we needed a centralized database of referral resources to best help our communities and those new or visiting our state.
211 is the community’s go-to resource for any kind of assistance throughout the year for personal everyday needs or during a disaster or personal crisis. 211 is the number to call when you don’t know who to call. It’s one of our community initiatives and a vital service provided by United Way. It also helps to maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system - Use 211 for non-emergency calls and reserve 9-1-1 for the life and death emergencies.
When someone dials 211 they are prompted to enter their zip code to route them to their local call center. The call is then answered by a trained Information and Referral specialist. 211 Call Specialists are trained to assess the caller’s need and identify resources from a comprehensive database of local community resources.
To reach a call specialist, dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-421-1266; text 888-421-1266; or visit https://www.211connectsalabama.org/ to chat with a specialist online.