2-1-1 Texas

Information, Referral & Assistance

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.

Texans Urged to Use 2-1-1 Texas Social Services Hotline For COVID-19 Information and Referrals

AUSTIN – Texas Health and Human Services encourages all Texans in need of COVID-19 information and referrals to community resources to call the 2-1-1 Texas hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“As we encourage people to use social distancing and to stay at home when possible, this state resource can help the public stay informed, stay calm and stay safe,” said Wayne Salter, HHS Deputy Executive Commissioner of Access and Eligibility Services. “Our trained staff are working tirelessly around the clock to respond to all the public’s questions, through 2-1-1 as well as our HHS social media platforms.”

Texans, no matter where they live, can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 and select option 6 to get information and referrals to COVID-19 social services, including testing, community clinics, unemployment benefits and more.

Texans can also dial 2-1-1 to find information about local community resources such as financial assistance for utilities or rent and food pantries, housing assistance, crisis counseling, utility payment assistance, and senior services.

Call center operators answered more than 785,000 calls by Texans for information and services during Hurricane Harvey and are available to help during this public health crisis.
For general health-related information and precautions on COVID-19, visit the
DSHS website and the CDC page.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates impacting HHS services and regulated providers by visiting the HHS COVID-19 page.

For more information on the state hotline, visit 211texas.org.

In partnership with Texas Health & Human Services, DETCOG operates the 2-1-1 Texas Information and Referral Center for our region.  Utilizing a comprehensive statewide database, 2-1-1 Texas provides information and referral assistance to all persons seeking access to local programs and services.  Thanks to this program, any resident of Texas can simply dial 2-1-1 anytime day or night to learn about services available to them in their own communities.  

Search the online database

Remember, in an emergency always dial 9-1-1.

What is 2-1-1 Texas?

2-1-1 Texas is the new abbreviated dialing code for free information and referrals to health and human service and community organizations.

2-1-1 Texas serves as the number to call for information about community resources. It links individuals and families to critical health and human services provided by nonprofit organizations and government agencies in their own community.

2-1-1 Texas is part of a national effort to help promote self-sufficiency by making information about services much easier to find.

How Does it Work?

By simply calling 2-1-1 callers are connected with information about available resources in their community.

Across the state, 2-1-1 centers (Area Information Centers) have been established to collect and maintain a database of local resource information. Each center responds to calls from people seeking information.

Each center continues to expand its database of government agencies, food pantries, career services, after-school programs, counseling services, and many other nonprofit resources in each of these counties.