It's not always easy to find help when you need it when you live in a rural area. Social programs are spread out far and wide, and case managers and social workers often travel many miles to meet with those who need help. One solution that is available in Kansas is the 211 Helpline.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reserved the 211 dialing code for community information and referral services in July 2000. The intention was that 211 would be a memorable and universally recognizable number to connect individuals and families in need with the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies. As of February 2015, 2-1-1 serves over 291 million Americans (93% of the entire population) covering portions of all 50 states (including 41 states with 90% coverage) plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico.
Calling 2-1-1 puts callers in touch with information about social services for everyday needs or crisis, including.....
- Basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelters, housing, and utility assistance
- Disaster response and recovery
- Mental and physical health resources including counseling, support groups, drug and alchohol treatment, health insurance programs for children, medical information lines, clinics and hospitals
- Employment support including job training, employment services, transportation assistance and education programs
- Support for seniors and persons with disabilities including adult day care, community meals, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services.
- Family support including child care, after-school programs, educational programs for low income families, family resource centers and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services
- Volunteer and donor opportunities
In Kansas, 2-1-1 is maintained by United Way of the Plains. You can search 2-1-1 online or call 2-1-1 to find help in your area
- Search 2-1-1 Kansas online to find help in your area from thousands of nonprofit and government human services (for childen, adults and seniors) across Kansas.
- Dial 2-1-1 toll free across Kansas to talk with a trained specialist to find help. All calls are confidential and answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Find parenting resources, anger management classes, holiday assistance, seasonal resources and more.
- If you are a non-profit agency or program that offers services for children, adults or seniors, call or go online to be added to the 2-1-1 database and/or one of the helpful guides.