Faq

1. How does Iowa/Nebraska 211 benefit me?

There may come a time that you or someone you know needs help, but don’t know exactly what kind of assistance is available – let alone how to access it. 211 can assist by help clarify your personal situation and then utilize an extensive up-to-date database to determine the best resource(s) for you. 211 is where you go when you don’t know where to turn for help, acting as a single point of contact to thousands of social service programs.

211 in Iowa and Nebraska follows standards recommended by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). The AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Professional Information and Referral are reviewed and published regularly and are free to view online.

2. Who is 211 for?

  • Families seeking services for their children
  • Seniors seeking legal assistance, benefits help, volunteer opportunities
  • Businesses helping an employee find resources to help their family
  • Laid-off workers struggling to feed their families
  • Disaster victims seeking information
  • Teachers, clergy, and agency staff seeking help for their clients
  • Anyone seeking services in their community

3. How does calling Iowa/Nebraska 211 differ from dialing 411?

A variety of factors distinguish 211 from 411. For example, the 211 call center and database is maintained by a nonprofit organization, rather than a telecommunications company, and the service is offered to callers at absolutely no charge. Moreover, Iowa/Nebraska 211 minimizes the use of automation, and provides much more than mere directory assistance. We employ trained Information and Referral Specialists who ask questions, make assessments, and offer assistance navigating potential service providers. The Information and Referral Specialists are both caring and empathetic; they are people to call when you don’t know where to turn for help.

4. Can you assist Non-English Speaking individuals?

Non-English speaking callers are assisted by a telephone interpreting service with access to 150 languages.

5. Do you have many programs in your database that can help me?

A comprehensive and up-to-date database is maintained with over 13,000 programs and services listed. Each caller’s circumstance varies and trained Information and Referral Specialists work with each individual to try to locate resources that may be able to assist them.

6. How do I reach the 211 that serves my county?

Iowa/Nebraska 211 Call Centers serve all counties in the states of Iowa and Nebraska. Click on the link to find your 211 Center.

7. Is texting service available?

Texting service is available in Iowa and Nebraska. By texting your zip code to 898211, you will reach a trained specialist who can assist you. The hours texting is available varies by 211 center. To learn more, text your zip code to 898211 or click on your service area.

8. Do other states have 211?

211 is currently available to over 90% of the United States population, check www.211.org for more information. Visit http://211us.org/status.htm to check the current status.

9. How does an agency/nonprofit organization become included in your database?

Agencies can apply for their programs to be listed in this database, but first must meet the requirements and criteria of the Inclusion/Exclusion Policy. Each application request form that is submitted is reviewed for compliance with requirements and inclusion criteria. If you would like to list your agency in the 211 database, please click on the link.

211 provides a balanced set of resources to help with multiple needs. 211 follows standards recommended by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). The AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Professional Information and Referral are reviewed and published regularly and are free to view online.

10. My agency is already listed in the 211 database so how do I update our information?

Annual updates are sent out to each agency listed in the 211 database to be reviewed and updated. To update your Agency information, click on the link.

11. What is 211’s role in disaster response and recovery?

In addition to our primary role of connecting residents to the help they need, Iowa/Nebraska 211 is involved in local disaster planning, response, and recovery. Whether it is a flood, windstorm, extended heatwave, ice storm, or other types of disasters, 211 provides support to community and emergency service providers in the event of a disaster.

12. Do you accept donations?

Gratefully. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact your 211 call center.

Our Partners

  • United Way Midlands
  • United Ways East Central Iowa
  • Gunderson Health System
  • Iowa State University Extension Outreach
  • United Way Quad Cities Area
  • United Way of Central Iowa