Eight Things You Didn’t Know About 211

Everyone knows about 911. But fewer people know about 211, the nationwide service for non-emergency life challenges - the kind everyone faces at some point in their lives, when you have no idea where to turn but sure could use some extra help. 

211 is a vital service that connects millions of people each year to help in their communities. Here in Southeast Louisiana, 211 is managed by a nonprofit called VIA LINK. United Way of Southeast Louisiana is proud to fund VIA LINK and help ensure this vital service is available for everyone in our community.  


Here are eight things you might not know about 211: 


1. They can help with complex challenges, whatever they may be. 211 connects people to resources like: 

  • Employment and job training 

  • Health and mental health assistance 

  • Child care and after-school programs 

  • Financial coaching 

  • Addiction treatment 

  • Transportation 

  • Affordable housing and rent assistance 

  • Legal services 

  • Disaster recovery 

  • Utility assistance 

  • Disability resources 

  • Veteran services 

  • Tax preparation 


2. 211 is for anyone. Everyone faces challenges. Job loss, illness, natural disasters, and other events can upend anyone’s life. In those moments, 211 is a good resource to have in your back pocket. Best of all, the service is available to everyone, regardless of income level. Spread the word to your friends, family, and co-workers so they are prepared when things take a turn for the worse. 

3. 211 is available 24/7/365. That’s every day, every hour, every minute of the year. And if you don’t feel like calling, you can text your zip code to 898-211 or use VIA LINK’s website to start an online chat.  


4. You’ll talk to a real person. A trained, expert specialist answers the call, helps identify the root causes of your problem, and connects you to local resources. 


5. VIA LINK offers text lines for teens in crisis and opioid support.


6. Starting on Feb. 11, 2023, 99% of the U.S. population has access to 211. 211 is also available in all of Canada! 


7. 211 helps tens of millions of people each year. Here locally, 211 made nearly 35,000 connections between people in need and local help in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes in 2022. 


8. Translation is available in 180 languages, making the service available to millions more people than would otherwise have access to it. 


Now you that you know about this valuable community resource, share this blog with a friend!