Whether it’s helping individuals during a personal crisis or assisting communities during a natural disaster, NC 211 connects people to vital services, dives into the underlying problems and finds solutions. While most people might consider an emergency a physical or mental issue in need of quick attention, what if the emergency can’t be solved by contacting a doctor or visiting a hospital? That’s where NC 211 comes in.



What is NC 211?


NC 211 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina and supported by local United Ways and public and private partners. Accessible via an easy-to-remember three-digit number or by visiting nc211.org, families and individuals can obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources in their community.


Did you know? Prior to becoming part of NC 211, United Way of Central Carolinas had an in-house 211 call center. Since 2015, 211 providers have answered over 95,270 calls in our five-county footprint.



When can I call NC 211?


NC 211 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by dialing 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162.



Is NC 211 statewide?


NC 211 is available by landline, cell phone, and VOIP in all 100 counties of North Carolina.



Is 211 available in languages other than English?


NC 211 has Spanish language call specialists on staff and also utilizes professional language interpretation services to assist callers in over 170 languages.



What information is available by dialing 2-1-1 or visiting nc211.org?


NC 211 maintains a robust database with information on more than 19,000 human service programs and services in North Carolina. Callers are referred to organizations in their local community best equipped to address their specific needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, healthcare, substance abuse, specific resources for older adults and people with disabilities, and much more.


When an individual dials 2-1-1, a trained call specialist conducts a search based on the caller’s location to identify resources that meet the caller’s needs. In addition to contact information for the resource, call specialists provide eligibility requirements, intake process information, hours of operation, any requirements for appointments and accessibility information, when available.


Did you know? In 2019, NC 211 addressed 29,723 requests for help in United Way of Central Carolinas’ five-county footprint. The top three requests fielded by 211 providers were housing and shelter, community development and enrichment, and employment and income.



What types of organizations are included in the database?


The database includes nonprofit organizations and government agencies that provide health and human services to citizens in North Carolina. Learn more about organization inclusion criteria.


Did you know? United Way of Central Carolinas’ partnership with NC 211 for Coordinated Entry helps connect people experiencing homelessness/housing instability with resources and supportive services. We work with local homeless service providers, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County to provide a more efficient way to serve the homeless in our community by utilizing NC 211.



What role does NC 211 play in the event of a disaster?


NC 211 is a member of the State Emergency Response Team and is part of the State’s Emergency Plan. In the event of a natural or public disaster, NC 211 serves as a public information portal providing residents with real-time information and resources related to the disaster. Caller needs are also tracked to provide emergency managers with information on trends and situations that residents are facing.


NC 211 call centers handled nearly 13,000 calls during Hurricane Matthew, more than 28,000 calls during Hurricane Florence, and 70,000 calls to date during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Does the online search tool at nc211.org provide the same information as dialing 2-1-1?


The online database is the same database used by the call specialists; however, NC 211 call specialists are trained to search using specific keywords which may provide more resources than found through self-search. Individuals who don’t find what they need through the online search tool are highly encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to speak to a call specialist.



How can I learn more about NC 211?


Dial 2-1-1 or visit nc211.org to learn more about NC 211.


Did you know? Every year on February 11, or 2-11, United Ways across the country celebrate National 211 Day to recognize the invaluable role this service plays in our community. Take a deeper dive into 211 and learn about 50 ways 211 serves the community.