Every hour of every day, hundreds of people need essential human services, whether they are looking for employment assistance, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction recovery programs, affordable housing options, support groups or ways of becoming part of their community. The call line 211 can help. 211 is the national abbreviated dialing code for free access to health and human services information and referral. It is an easy-to-remember and universally recognizable number that makes a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. The nation’s first 211 service was created in 1997 in metropolitan Atlanta. Implementation of 211 was spearheaded by United Ways, and information comes from referral agencies in states and local communities. 
211 is available 24 hours/day, seven days/week throughout Iowa, including Story County, or online.
Why would someone call 211 in Story County? If you're new to the community and need help finding childcare, 211 could help. If you recently lost your job, unemployment benefits haven’t begun yet and the refrigerator is nearly empty, 211 could direct you to a local food source. If you suspect your teenager is using alcohol and don’t know which agency to call first, 211 could help.
Local nonprofits have submitted information to the call center about services they provide so 211 callers receive accurate information. Because of the support of UWSC donors, programs like 211 are available for everyone in Story County.
If your business or organization would like free 211 marketing materials, click here to order items that United Way will get to you at no cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 211?

211 is where you go when you don’t know where to turn for help, acting as a single point of contact to thousands of social service programs. 

Who is 211 for?

  • Families seeking services for their children
  • Seniors seeking legal assistance, benefits help, volunteer opportunities
  • Businesses helping an employee find resources to help their family
  • Laid-off workers struggling to feed their families
  • Disaster victims seeking information
  • Teachers, clergy, and agency staff seeking help for their clients
  • Anyone seeking services in their community

Does 211 cost money?

211 is a completely free, comprehensive information and referral system linking Iowa residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services and governmental programs.

Can you assist Non-English Speaking individuals?

Assistance is available in multiple languages, and services are accessible to people with disabilities. Languages can be assisted with the use of our Language Line translation service that can translate 150 languages.