What 2-1-1 Texas Provides

A simple, easy-to-remember, three-digit dialing code for citizens to receive referrals for non-emergency health, human, and disaster-related services. 24/7 availability with multilingual capabilities, as well as accessible services for persons with disabilities. The mechanism for a true public-private partnership with state government demonstrating proven leadership from the Health and Human Services Commission and its partners: United Ways, Area Agencies on Aging, Council of Governments, Community Councils, and non-profits. 2-1-1 Texas can provide useful community data to planners and agencies, especially regarding caller needs and gaps in services. We work together with agencies in each county to find out how we can best compliment existing services.

How 2-1-1 Texas Can Help the Community

  • 2-1-1 Texas allows easy access to statewide assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • 2-1-1 Texas is a part of a statewide network of information and referral services and can direct people outside our service area to the appropriate area information center that serves their county.
  • 2-1-1 Texas is a critical element of Texas' Homeland Security strategy. It provides a way to coordinate and disseminate accurate and up-to-date information to all Texans when they need it.
  • 2-1-1 Texas relieves the stress on 9-1-1 by redirecting non-emergency calls, thereby leaving 9-1-1 lines open for true emergencies.
  • 2-1-1 Texas demonstrates how state and community governments can work together to create a successful public-private partnership.

2-1-1 Texas is included in the Governor's Homeland Security Strategy

The September 11, 2001 tragedy has drawn attention to the need for a system that can support homeland security strategies to connect people quickly and efficiently with help and community information. 2-1-1 Texas fills that need. The terrorist attack created one of the greatest challenges that the United States network of community information and referral providers has ever seen. Immediately after the attacks, agencies offering information and referral services experienced significantly higher call volumes from families looking for victims, individuals stranded in airports, frightened children and concerned parents, individuals reliving other disasters, mentally ill persons feeling overwhelmed, and people looking for ways to help (donate blood, money, goods, etc.). There is long term need for the 2-1-1 service following a disaster. The trauma of the tragedy often produces increasing need for referrals for substance abuse, eating disorders, domestic violence, debt management, employment assistance and similar programs. It is estimated that 6% of victims who seek help following a disaster continue to have unmet needs once all immediate emergency assistance is exhausted. The 2-1-1 system's ability to connect callers with the appropriate resources will address many long term recovery needs of the community. The 2-1-1 Texas system is an important statewide tool for information sharing and resource mobilization during local, statewide or national disasters. The 2-1-1 Texas System will serve as the memorable, easy-to-access utility for coordinating and disseminating information and referral to all health and human service resources. Residents would clearly benefit from a system providing a single access point into the region's social service network as well as increased service coordination, both under normal circumstances as well in possible future emergencies.

© 2021 by Brandi K. Autry