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FAQ

What is 2-1-1?
Every hour of every day, someone in the United States needs essential services-from finding mental health assistance to securing adequate care for a child or an aging parent. Faced with a dramatic increase in the number of agencies and help lines, people often don't know where to turn. In many cases, people end up going without these necessary and readily available services because they do not know where to start.

2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for everyday needs and in times of crisis. For example, 2-1-1 can offer access to the following types of services:.

  • Basic Human Needs Resources: food pantries, clothing closets, shelters, rent and utility assistance.
  • Physical and Mental Health Resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health care, CHIP, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, substance abuse intervention and rehabilitation.
  • Employment Supports: financial assistance, job training, educational 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: child care, after school programs, Head Start, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring, protective services.
  • Volunteer Opportunities and Donation Services.

Objectives of Iowa AIRS
  • To share professional information and expertise
  • To standardize forms, databases, and software to facilitate information sharing
  • To avoid duplication of services in a geographic area
  • To identify service gaps in the community and provide information to policy makers
  • To advocate and promote Iowa's Information and Referral service capabilities at a state level
  • To work within regional and national I&R organizations to promote I&R services

What will 2-1-1 call centers do?

  • Provide information and referral services to inquirers for their designated geographic area with well-trained staff who are knowledgeable about local resources
  • Create and maintain a database of statewide community resources and referrals.
  • Provide appropriate services to crisis callers which includes stabilization, safety assessment and connection to further resources (domestic violence shelter, sexual assault survivor advocate etc.)
  • Provide information regarding callers, service needs and resource gaps.
  • Provide support to community and emergency service providers in the event of a disaster.

  • What agencies will be providing 2-1-1 services?
    2-1-1 services will be provided by Information and Referral call centers that meet the standards set by Iowa/Nebraska AIRS. Currently building on existing infrastructure are:

    • Gunderson HealthSystem, Lacrosse, IA
    • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Urbandale, IA
    • Project Concern, Dubuque, IA
    • United Way of Central Iowa, Des Moines, IA
    • United Way of East Central Iowa, Cedar Rapids, IA
    • United Way of the Midlands - Omaha, NE
    • United Way of the Quad Cities, Davenport, IA