Who We Are
United Way 2-1-1 History
Typical Calls to 2-1-1

United Way 2-1-1 Phone System Offers
Community Access to Health, Social and Human Services

People living in a nine-county region of Northeast Florida can dial 2-1-1, the easy to remember, three-digit telephone number connecting callers to free information and referrals to health, social and human services.

The nine-county area includes Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Baker, Nassau, Columbia, Suwannee, Hamilton, and Putnam counties.

United Way 2-1-1 partners include United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, United Way of Suwannee Valley, City of Jacksonville, Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"Dialing 2-1-1 is free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Michelle Braun, President, United Way of Northeast Florida. "United Way 2-1-1 provides a critical connection between individuals and families in need to the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. United Way is proud to be associated with this project and look forward to continuing to serve the communities and families within the nine country area."

United Way 2-1-1 also operates a suicide intervention and prevention helpline. It, too, can be accessed by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-904-632-0600.

Callers to 2-1-1 will speak with a highly-trained, professional information and referral call center specialist who will refer the caller directly to the health, social and/or human service organizations that are most able to provide assistance. The call center specialist follows-up with the caller at a later date to make certain they have been served properly.

United Way 2-1-1 provides information and referral for:
  • Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Medical Needs and Assistance
  • Child/Adolescent/Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse
  • Food, Shelter and Clothing
  • Support Groups and People with Disabilities
  • HIV / AIDS Information and Testing
  • Victims of Abuse or Crime
  • Adult, Child and Family Services
  • 24-hour Suicide and Crisis Intervention and Prevention

United Way 2-1-1 History

2-1-1 was first implemented in Atlanta by the United Way of Metro Atlanta in 1997, followed by the State of Connecticut in 1999. Each service saw the number of its callers increase in the first year of service with corresponding increases in referrals.

2-1-1 is in various stages of implementation throughout the nation. Florida's 2-1-1 network of information and referral providers will be coordinated through collaborations with the United Way of Florida and the Florida Alliance of Information and Referral Services (FLAIRS).

2-1-1 services are now up and serving more than 90% of the population in the State of Florida.

How did 2-1-1 service come about?
The need for 2-1-1 service has been recognized throughout the United States for quite some time as an easy way to access important information on social services for local communities, cities, counties, states and governments. There have been extensive state and national efforts to improve universal access to health and human services across the United States.

In July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 2-1-1 as the national number to call for health and human services referrals. The national 2-1-1 Collaborative, which successfully sought FCC approval, includes many major, national associations:
  • Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), from which United Way 2-1-1 received national accreditation in January 2006. United Way 2-1-1 is also nationally accredited by the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).
  • National Association of State Units on Aging (NASUA)
  • National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) as well as groups from 35 states and Canada
  • FLAIRS is one of the founding members of the 2-1-1 Collaborative
How can you get involved?
There are several ways you can help:
  • Provide support through contributions, corporate sponsorships and offers of in-kind support to make United Way 2-1-1 a success in Northeast Florida.
  • Volunteer to become a 2-1-1 Call Center Specialist. We will provide all of the necessary training.
  • Spread the word about United Way 2-1-1.
Call United Way 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 and/or search these websites for national 2-1-1 information - www.flairs.org, www.airs.org and www.211.org. Tell your friends to visit the United Way 2-1-1 website to learn more about United Way 2-1-1 and its programs and services - www.nefl211.org

Typical Calls to 2-1-1.
  • A woman calls to ask about home care or placement options for her frail 86-year-old mother who can no longer live alone.
  • An older man has been caring for his wife, who has advancing Alzheimer's symptoms. He is now exhausted and needs assistance and respite.
  • A woman inquires about the availability of bus transportation.
  • A mother needs summer camp and child care referrals for her two young sons.
  • The mother of a 13-year-old seeks counseling for her son who is not going to school.
  • A young woman is worried about the electricity shutoff notice she just received in the mail.
  • A man needs assistance in paying his mortgage or rent payment.
  • A caller is depressed and threatening suicide and wants help.
  • A caller needs information about eligibility for food stamps.
  • A teenager seeks a treatment group for substance abuse problems.
  • A recent widower is looking for a support group to join.
  • A caller with gambling problems seeks assistance to overcome the addiction.
  • A teenager has problems at home and has a father who drinks.
  • A mother of two is physically abused by her husband. Fearful for her life, she seeks shelter.
  • A caller would like to go back to school in an effort to get a better job and needs vocational training.