United Way’s 2-1-1: A Guide

St. Francois County residents who need assistance and don’t know where to turn can dial 2-1-1 for help. With more than 10,000 health and human service organizations throughout the state of Missouri, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and other United Ways in Missouri created the telephone helpline to give direction to people in need of essential services.

The 2-1-1 service applies to both landline telephone services and to mobile phone users, with the exception of Boost Mobile. A caller can make the same one-call connection by dialing 1-800-427-4626. Calls through some business phone systems may also need to use this alternative approach. The primary website for 2-1-1 is www.211helps.org.

In 2013, more than 1200 calls were placed to 2-1-1 from people in St. Francois County. The top five needs for which they sought assistance were: help with electric bills, rent, food pantry referral, financial assistance and shelter.

Calls to this free and confidential number allows callers to be directed to a resource available near where they live. At 2-1-1, a call specialist is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Calling 2-1-1 provides a direct link to information regarding food pantries, housing shelters, utility assistance, child care, senior centers, tutoring classes, language programs, health care, intervention, support groups, and more. Through a single phone call, you will be directed toward an organization that suits your need.

2-1-1 is available for everyday and non-emergency needs, offering easy access to community-based organizations and government agencies that provide services such as:

  • Basic human needs resources
  • Mental and physical health resources
  • Employment support
  • Support for older adults and people with disabilities
  • Support for children, youth and families
  • Help in non-emergency situations
  • Volunteer and donor opportunities

The 2-1-1 telephone helpline is a gateway for finding and giving assistance. While providing support to the community, people can also call 2-1-1 to volunteer or donate to help agencies. For example, you can use 2-1-1 to find out where to donate clothing, volunteer your services and assist the members of our community who are most in need.