Almost everyone knows why you would dial 911 or 411 — and in New Jersey, many people are even familiar with 311, the information line that helps you navigate New York City. But 211? Well, apparently quite a few people — 420,000 in 2014 — know that this will help you get assistance from the state Department of Health and Human Services, or nonprofit agencies.
Launched by the United Ways of New Jersey 10 years ago, NJ 211, which can be reached by phone or by visiting nj211.org, has a comprehensive database of over 4,000 health and human service providers who offer nearly 15,000 programs at 12 locations in the state.
When called, a trained referral specialist helps the caller navigate these systems to get the help they need. Callers are often looking to find the closest food bank, get tax assistance, get information about state and federal programs like SNAP and LIHEAP, or find affordable housing and job training.
The 211 system is a free program and today, February 11 (2-11, get it?) is its recognition day.