What is 211?  A free confidential community service and your one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, health, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. 211 is always ready to assist you in finding the help you need. Dial the three digit number 211 on your phone or find Help here.

If you are outside of Washington or have a problem dialing the number 211, please dial 1-877-211-9274.

Find our latest reports here.

How 211 Works

Dial 211 from anywhere in Washington State and you will reach a highly-trained information and referral specialist who will assess your needs and provide a list of referrals to available resources in your community. Washington 211 has a database of over 27,000 resources to help you find the right services. Referrals are usually given over the phone or can be emailed or text to you. In crisis situations a warm transfer can be made directly to crisis specialists or 9-1-1. TTY for the deaf and hard of hearing and interpreter services are also available in 140+ languages.

Search Resources Online

Washington 211 is continually updating and adding resources to a comprehensive database of over 27,000 services that you can also access and search online. Search by location, service category, service term, or agency name to find the resources you need.

Resource and community needs data for Health Organizations, Community Agencies and Government

  • Washington 211’s comprehensive database of resources can provide the foundation for specialized resource databases or for care coordination and closed looped referral systems.
  • Washington 211 tracks the location and type of services callers are asking for or searching for on-line and the types of referrals that are made, providing accurate, unbiased, real time information about community needs and gaps in services to create custom needs assessments.
  • You can access 211 data on 211 Counts which is a data dashboard that provides real-time searchable data in simple-to-use format. Using 211 Counts, you’ll find a snapshot of community-specific needs displayed by ZIP code, region or call center as recently as yesterday, enabling you to easily check trends, make comparisons and share information.

211 History and Facts

  • May 6, 1997, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta adopted 211 as a simple, easy number to call when people want to help or when they need access to human services.
  • In 2000, United Way of America petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to assign 211 as the abbreviated dialing code for consumer access to community information and referral services and was approved later that year.
  • In April 2004, WIN211, later renamed Washington 211, was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization.
  • In 2003, the Washington State Legislature passed ESHB 1787 in support of the creation of a 211 system for the state and recognized Washington 211 (WA211) as the lead organization.
  • February 11, 2006, the first 211 call was answered in the State of Washington.

Disaster Relief

  • 211 is a partner in the state's emergency management plan
    as well as many local and regional plans.
  • 211 has the ability to mobilize statewide during times of disaster.
  • 211 relieves pressure on the 9-1-1 phone system for non-
    emergency calls (Up to 20% of 9-1-1 calls are non-emergency).
  • 211 is a central point of contact for emergency responders to share up-to-date information on shelter locations, evacuation, routes, road closures and public health advisories.
  • 211 assists community efforts by coordinating community volunteers and donations.
  • Washington 211 has been called into action for wildfires, flooding, landslides, winter storms, man made disasters and health pandemics.
Hill on fire and first responders trying to put it out
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