2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline number that connects callers to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nationally, 2-1-1 is to social services what 9-1-1 is to emergency services.

  • The United Way of Southeast Iowa refers hundreds of callers in search of social services to 2-1-1 call centers in Central and Southeastern Iowa.
  • 2-1-1 is available in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Individuals call 2-1-1 in search of food, shelters, utilities, rental assistance, health care, counseling and much more in their local community.

When was 2-1-1 established?

The Federal Communications Commission designated 2-1-1 the national community services and volunteer number in July of 2000. 

Is there a charge to use 2-1-1?

2-1-1 services are free. Your telephone provider’s long distance rates may apply if you are calling one of the local 10-digit numbers from out of the area. If you are calling from a cell phone, air time and other cell phone charges may apply.

Can I use any phone to call 2-1-1?

You can dial 2-1-1 from most landlines, VoIP, and cellular carriers; however, some cell phone carriers and office buildings block access to all N11 number (2-1-1) numbers except 9-1-1.


If you are having problems dialing 2-1-1, call one of the 10-digit numbers below.

Direct: 515-246-6555

Toll Free: 800-244-7431

Text: Text your zip code to 898211

Chat Hours:
 Mon – Fri, 8am – 4pm
 Click Here to Start A Chat Session



Can 2-1-1 help a relative or friend who lives in another state?

Yes, there are 2-1-1 call centers throughout the country. Go to www.211.org and follow directions for locating the closest 2-1-1 call center to your friend or relative.

Is 2-1-1 data collected?

Each year, 16 million people in the United States dial 2-1-1 for help with basic needs like food and shelter or emergency services. 

2-1-1 Counts is the first tool to provide real-time, searchable and visual presentations of data from 2-1-1 call centers across the nation.