7 Reasons You Should Use 211

In a crisis, in a disaster, in a pandemic, 211 is here to help every person in our community find food, pay bills, and connect to other essential services. Our 211 is part of a national network, United to help as many people as possible.

In fact, 211 is a critical part of United Way of Central Illinois’ fight for the basic needs, health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.

Here’s why you should use this vital service—and let others know about it, too.

  1. 211 provides connections to many kinds of resources and services, including:
    • Crisis and emergency counseling for mental health concerns, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking
    • Disaster assistance
    • Food
    • Financial assistance, literacy, and coaching
    • Health care and insurance assistance
    • Stable housing and utilities payment assistance 
    • Unemployment services
    • Veteran services 
    • Child care and family services
  1. Our 211 call specialists are amazing listeners! 211 does more than “patch people through” to agencies. Instead, every call is answered by a real person, a caring expert who offers comfort, hope, and solutions – from the first hello to the final connection to help. 
  1. 211 is simple and convenient to use. The service is free, confidential, and accessible 24/7/365. It’s also available in more than 180 languages.
  2. There’s more than one way to use 211. You can dial 2-1-1 on your phone and speak to a trained 211 specialist. Or you can browse local resources on 211.org. The service is also available by text, web chat, and email. For Sangamon and Menard Counties, you can call 1-888-865-9903 to get directly to services in our area.
  3. 211 tackles problems at the roots. In fact, 211 specialists are trained to identify and address the underlying root causes of a client’s problem – and connect them with a wide range of available resources that meet all the underlying needs, not just the one that prompted the call, text, or email.
  1.  211 helps almost 3,000 people in Sangamon and Menard Counties each year, many of them just like you. In 2021, calls to our local 211 took 2,893 calls. Since launching in 2012, 211 has answered 25,681 calls for help. 211 is available to help anyone, no matter their situation, income level, gender, age, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
  1. 211 responds to new needs with innovative services. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the need to change the way many services operated – including community resources that provide food and other essential supplies. In the middle of the pandemic, United Way and DoorDash launched the Ride United Last Mile Delivery Program to help people get access to the food and household supplies they needed. Since it launched, Ride United Last Mile Delivery has delivered 7.4 million meals.

Learn more and get help by visiting 211.org. And share this information with as many people as possible, so everyone in Sangamon and Menard Counties knows where to turn for help.

Donate to help continue this life-saving service.