2-1-1

Crisis, hunger, homelessness or the loss of a job can happen at any time to anyone.

In 2020, thousands of people lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Every day United Way NCA receives calls from individuals and families in search food and rental assistance because they lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

United Way NCA refers these callers to 2-1-1 in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

2-1-1 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline number that connects callers to essential health and human services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nationally, 2-1-1 is to social services what 9-1-1 is to emergency services.

  • United Way NCA referred thousands of callers in search of social services to 2-1-1 call centers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
  • 2-1-1 is available in multiple languages 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Individuals call 2-1-1 in search of food, shelters, utilities, rental assistance, health care, counseling and much more in their local community.

If you know an individual or family in critical need of emergency services, refer them to 2-1-1.

Not all cell phones are programmed for 2-1-1. Cell phones that are not programmed for 2-1-1 will produce either a “fast busy” or “not in service” recording.

If you cannot reach 2-1-1 on your cell phone, dial the following 10-digit number in your jurisdiction:

Dial 202-463-6211 in the District of Columbia.

Dial 301-864-7161 in the state of Maryland.

Dial 800-230-6977 in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

FAQS ABOUT 2-1-1

  • When was 2-1-1 established?

    In 2000 the Federal Communications Commission designated 2-1-1 the national community services and volunteer number.

  • Do we have 2-1-1 call centers in the Washington Region?

    Yes, there are 2-1-1 call centers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

  • Is there a charge to use 2-1-1?

    2-1-1 services are free. Your telephone provider’s long distance rates may apply if you are calling one of the local 10-digit numbers from out of the area. If you are calling from a cell phone, air time and other cell phone charges may apply.

  • Can I use any phone to call 2-1-1?

    You can dial 2-1-1 from most landlines, VoIP, and cellular carriers; however, some cell phone carriers and office buildings block access to all N11 number (2-1-1) numbers except 9-1-1. If you are having problems dialing 2-1-1, call the 10-digit number in your jurisdiction.

    • For 2-1-1 service in the District of Columbia, dial 202-463-6211
    • For 2-1-1 service in Southern Montgomery County & Prince Georges County, dial 301-864-7161
    • For 2-1-1 service in Virginia, dial 800-230-6977
  • Can 2-1-1 help a relative or friend who lives in another state?

    Yes, there are 2-1-1 call centers throughout the country. Go to www.211.org and follow directions for locating the closest 2-1-1 call center to your friend or relative.