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211 is the most comprehensive source of information about local resources and services in the country. It’s powered by people: thousands of caring, local experts are available to help, 24/7. Calls to 211 are confidential and can be anonymous.   

The 211 network in the United States responds to more than 20 million requests for help every year. Most calls, web chats, and text messages are from people looking for help meeting basic needs like housing, food, transportation, and health care. 211 can be accessed by phone or computer, at 211.org. A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services. You’ll find information about:   

  • supplemental food and nutrition programs
  • shelter and housing options and utilities assistance
  • emergency information and disaster relief
  • employment and education opportunities
  • services for veterans
  • health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
  • addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
  • reentry help for ex-offenders
  • support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
  • a safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic abuse

Across the U.S. and Canada, 211 has made a difference during COVID-19. Whether it’s providing reliable information about the pandemic, testing or vaccination sites, or helping people stay in their homes, put food on the table and pay bills – 211 has been a lifesaver for millions over the last 18 months. The 211 network made 27.8 million connections to critical services and help last year, up nearly 100% from 2019. And call specialists have fielded a 150% increase in connections to food programs . All of that is an indicator of how vital a strong 211 is to strong, resilient communities.  


“Guiding Light:” 211 Public Service Advertising Campaign

In mid-July 2021, United Way Worldwide helped launch a 211 public service advertising campaign, aiming to connect more people in need to local available resources through 211.

We know COVID-19 recovery and rebuilding will continue for some time. Many people are still struggling, and don’t know about local resources that could ease their hardships. That’s why United Way is so appreciative of the Rockefeller Foundation for underwriting the 211 PSA campaign, called “Guiding Light, ”and thankful for the work the Ad Council and Walton Isaacson have done to bring it to life.

Advertising in English and Spanish will run on digital and social channels (banners, mobile & social graphics), radio, video (broadcast, streaming & online) as well as print & out-of-home (billboards, bus stops, metro stations).

To view the English broadcast advertising, click here (for :60 PSA), or here (for :30). To view the Spanish :60 version, click here, or here for the :30 version.

To learn more about 211, go to 211.org.


Partners

  • The Ad Council

    The Ad Council uses the power of communications to create change on America's vital issues.  With support of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ad Council is supporting 211 through the development and distribution of the "Guiding Light" public service advertising campaign.

  • The Hartford

    The Hartford, a leading insurance company based in Hartford, Connecticut, has provided support for 211 and United Way for many years. In 2019, recognizing the need for more people to know about 211 and have access to critical information about social services, The Hartford provided generous funding for a new 211.org

  • Red Roof

    For the month of February 2021, Red Roof is partnering with United Way to promote and support 211 through their Room in Your Heart Campaign. Red Roof guests save 15% on their stay and 5% of revenue from completed stays support United Way and the 211 network when they book with this link.

  • Lyft

    Each year, 211 receives over 250,000 requests for transportation assistance. On average, 25% of those requests cannot be supported using existing community resources. In 2018, United Way established its partnership with Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. Since then, United Ways and 211s in select cities have provided over 50,000 free and discounted Lyft rides to individuals experiencing transportation barriers. These trips helped grant clients greater access to resources like employment, healthcare, food, public benefits, and education.

  • SingleCare

    211 partners with SingleCare (formerly FamilyWize) to provide community members with access to affordable prescription medications, ensuring greater health and financial stability.  The SingleCare prescription savings card is free to use by everyone, just show it your pharmacist!  Users can save up to 80% on 10,000+ prescription medications.  Works whether you’re insured or underinsured - you can download and print a card on SingleCare.com or text "family" to 700700 to receive a card on your phone.  Or simply, download the free SingleCare mobile app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

  • IBM

    IBM is a longtime United Way partner. It supports the 211 network with its innovative technologies as part of its Good Tech IBM initiative. In 2018 and 2019, IBM partnered with 211 to create an artificial intelligence (AI) virtual chatbot to answer common questions after hurricanes in Gulf Coast states like Louisiana and Florida. IBM has also partnered with 211 to develop an AI-powered data hub that unlocks deeper insights about community needs and gaps.

  • The Equitable Foundation

    The COVID-19 vaccine is essential to community health, but many lack transportation to get to a vaccine site. The Equitable Foundation, which focuses on building a stronger society for its customers and employees, is partnering with United Way and 211 to help close this transportation gap. As part of a new social impact campaign, Equitable is donating and matching employee donations in support of the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign, to help more people get a ride to their vaccine appointments.


For information about 211, or to discuss a partnership, please contact the 211 team at 211@uww.unitedway.org.