211 is a trusted information and referral service that meets your community’s needs. Access this service: dial 211, text your ZIP code to 898211, or visit www.211iowa.org.
When anyone needs help, a trained professional can clarify the situation
and determine the best local options using an extensive, up-to-date database.
Residents can receive help 24 hours, seven days a week by phone, text message, or website. A language line translates 150 languages.
RESPONSIVE ACROSS CENTRAL IOWA
211 is the link between residents and thousands of social service programs.
27,856 CALLS IN 2018
39,616 REFERRALS TO RESOURCES
Top caller needs
Tax preparation assistance, disaster-related debris removal, rent payment assistance, utility payment assistance, holiday program, homeless shelters, food pantries, family crisis shelter, low-income/subsidized private rental housing, and disaster relief services
Throughout July, United Way of Central Iowa's 211 handled more than 5,000 calls, nearly seven times the volume it received during the same period the previous year in response to the July 1 floods. 211 assisted 1,755 of those callers in signing up for damage assessments or with debris removal.
During the July 1, 2018, flood that filled her parents’ Polk County home and left them in danger of an explosion from their gas tank, Brandee Blankenship was taking care of her 6-year-old niece as her
sister went through a mental health crisis.
Throughout the next few days, 211 would become Brandee’s resource for needs such as clean-up and debris removal. Over several weeks, 211 also helped Brandee navigate the complex and terrifying system of getting her sister help, while supporting her niece through a child abuse investigation of her sister’s ex-boyfriend. Brandee estimates she called 211 at least 10 times during this period, and eventually gained full-time custody of her niece.
“People need 211. It could be your co-worker, your own child. It could be you. Just know there’s a place that can help.”
- Brandee, program officer at the Principal Foundation
Frequently Asked Questions about 211
Is there a cost for dialing 211?
Calling 211 from a landline is free. Most cell phone carriers have made 211 calling available to their customers. Organizations and hospitals have to incorporate 211 into their phone system, or you can dial 515-246-6555 to reach 211.
Who is listed in the 211 Iowa Database?
To be listed, nonprofits and government agencies must meet set criteria, and provide free or subsidized health and human services to Iowa residents. For-profit organizations providing a unique service may be included.
What if a caller doesn’t speak English?
211 call centers have access to a Language Line that provides interpretation services in 170+ languages at any time.
Will the call be confidential?
All information provided is confidential. A call specialist will ask for a ZIP code to locate services closest to the home of the person in need. The specialist may ask for additional information, but a caller is never required to share identifying information.
Can I access 211 anywhere?
211 is available nationwide. Visit 211.org and search by ZIP code, city or state. Or call 211 and ask your local representative to find the number for 211 in another area. In Iowa, visit www.211Iowa.org or text your ZIP code to 898211.