When I called 2-1-1 because someone told me they could help with nutrition, I never expected to get fresh food. They sent me to a food pantry where I got 3 onions, 4 potatoes, 4 bananas, orange, brown rice, black beans, 3 artichokes, raspberries, packaged lettuce for salad, carrots, purple cabbage, and chicken breast. I called 2-1-1 again right away and asked if I could go back to the pantry again and they told me I could go every week if I needed food. I would never have found about this if it weren’t for the people at 2-1-1!
Why Dial 211?
May 20, 2011
By Erika Conner
It's a toll-free number answered 24 hours a day and a three-digit number that can provide you with a lot of answers.
In Contra Costa County, 2-1-1 is a free, non-emergency, confidential phone number and service that provides easy access to critical health and human services.
You can call 211 toll-free, 24 hours a day, and be connected to a trained multilingual specialist who can help with a multitude of questions.
According to the 211 website, information includes:
- Basic Human Needs Resources: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent and utility assistance
- Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health, Children's Health Insurance Program, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation
- Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance, education programs
- Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care, transportation, homemaker services
- Support for Children, Youth and Families: childcare, after-school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services
- Volunteer Opportunities and Donations
The operators at 211 have access to a database with information on government and nonprofit agencies that represent specialized services.
The 211 in Contra Costa County is part of 2-1-1 California, which links 27 counties and has a goal of serving the entire state in the near future.
In addition to providing information on food, shelter, job placement and an array of health-care programs, 211 in Contra Costa County serves as a crucial public information system during a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami or fire.