History of 2-1-1 Mississippi
2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. The implementation of 2-1-1 is being spearheaded by United Ways and comprehensive and specialized information and referral agencies in states and local communities. United Way of America (UWA) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) strongly support federal funding so that every American has access to this essential service.
The first 211 line was implemented in Atlanta , GA in 1997 by the local United Way chapter. Currently, 211 provides services to over 55% of the US population–163 million people—through 187 active services in 38 states as well as Puerto Rico. Mississippi ‘s 211 hotline has been in planning since the year 2000. Hurricane Katrina hit the area in late August of 2005 and the urgency of 211 servies was immediately recognized. After this natural disaster, all of 911 services in the State of Louisiana crashed and Governor Blanco announced 211 as the number to call for information. This state’s 211 line received over 7,000 calls a day during this national crisis.
The 211 line in Mississippi went live on July 6, 2006. After a month-long “soft launch” that began in June, the call center was operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, only one short month later. This line currently receives between 175-300 calls a day with the four main client requests being access to assistance with utilities, food, homeless/domestic violence shelter, and rent/mortgage payment. Providing links to basic needs services for impoverished families both affected by the devistation of Hurrican Katrina and those in lower socioeconomic classes are the cornerstone services of 211 Mississippi. In the short amount of time this line has been operational, the call specialists at 211 have made over 175,000 referrals for services.
Who is eligible to call?
Any individual looking for information or assistance to identify the services best suited to meet his or her needs is eligible to call. Case managers, church leaders, employers, teachers or other agencies calling on behalf of their clients, members, employees or students are also welcome.
When is 2-1-1 available?
2-1-1 Mississippi is available Monday-Friday from 7:00am-6:00pm.
Is 2-1-1 Mississippi a crisis hotline?
2-1-1 Mississippi is not a crisis line. Individuals in immediate crisis should call 911. Individuals looking to speak to a trained counselor should call Contact the Crisis Hotline to help at 601-713-4357
Will 2-1-1 Mississippi provide financial assistance?
2-1-1 Mississippi is a telephone information and referral line. We don’t provide financial assistance; however, we can direct you to agencies in the community that may be able to provide assistance.
What types of calls does 2-1-1 Mississippi receive?
We receive calls regarding health services; food; clothing; housing; government resources; education; employment; counseling; support groups; recreation; community groups; services for children, youth, families and older adults; and many more topics.
Here are a few examples of the types of calls we receive:
- What office do I call to request a new street sign?
- Is there a support group for cancer patients?
- My elderly mother is homebound and needs someone to take her grocery shopping.
- Is there a clothing closet near me?
- I have a client who needs literacy instruction.
- We don’t have health insurance, but my child needs to see a doctor.
- Where can I find affordable counseling services?