Frequently Asked Questions About 2-1-1

What is 2-1-1?

  • A place to turn when you need to find state or local health and human service resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns. Services are free, confidential, and multilingual. And we are always open.
  • An easy-to-remember telephone number that connects callers to resource specialists who are ready to guide callers to available community resources that will do the most good
  • A website that provides easy access to our resource database and focused resource pages that provide essential facts, contact numbers and web links so individuals have the tools they need to find answers
  • A service that reliably tracks expressed needs and regularly provides government leaders with data that enables them to address emerging social trends in real time

What types of questions can be answered by 2-1-1 community resource specialists?

We provide comprehensive information and referral services to callers about a variety of issues, including:

  • Basic Human Needs: Contact 2-1-1 when you need help finding food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rental assistance, utility assistance...
  • Support for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: We can help you find adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services...
  • Support for Children, Youth and Families: Reach out to us to learn about resources for childcare, after school programs, Kids Care (health insurance programs), family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services...
  • Physical and Mental Health Resources: We'll help you find health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children’s Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation services...
  • Employment Supports: Contact us if you need resources for financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs...

Where is 2-1-1 available in New Jersey?

Calls are received from anywhere in the state. You can reach NJ 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone. We are here 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also reach us by texting your zip code to 898-211 and you can chat with us online now by clicking the Chat Now icon on this, and every page, of our website.

Is there a charge for using NJ 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is offered to the public for free. There is no charge for calling 2-1-1 and speaking with a resource specialist. There is no charge for searching the resource database to find resources in your community. And, there is no charge for using our website to learn about the health and human service system in our state, how it works, what services are available to help you and who you should call to address the challenges you face.

Who funds 2-1-1 in New Jersey?

This confidential service is supported by local United Way Chapters throughout New Jersey in partnership with the State of New Jersey – Department of Human Services, Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and partner agencies with whom we are working on collaborative initiatives. Donations from individuals is important to our overall stability as well. Find out how you can make a donation.

Is 2-1-1 available in other places?

2-1-1 is a universally respected and growing national model. Today there are over 260 million Americans in all 50 states who have access to community resources by dialing 2-1-1. Thirty-seven of these states enjoy statewide coverage.

Why is it important to have a national 2-1-1 system? I live in New Jersey.

Without federal funding 2-1-1 in any state still lacks stable, long-term financing. A national 2-1-1 system brings stability to people-in-need, fosters efficiencies in government and provides a compassionate, nationwide network of support in times of crisis. In 2017, NJ 2-1-1 helped people in North Carolina and Florida find recovery resources when Hurricane Harvey made landfall. The back-up emergency collaboration by 2-1-1s throughout the country ensures that residents of every state can turn to 2-1-1 during times of disaster.