In many states, dialing “211” provides individuals and families in need with a shortcut through what can be a bewildering maze of health and human service agency phone numbers. By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations.
Dialing 211 helps direct callers to services for, among others, the elderly, the disabled, those who do not speak English, those with a personal crisis, those with limited reading skills, and those who are new to their communities. West Virginia 211 can be accessed in several different ways and is operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To contact someone at WV 211 you can dial 2-1-1 or text your zip code to 898-211. You can also access online chat through their website at http://www.wv211.org/.
West Virginia 211 keeps an accurate and comprehensive database that you can use to find health and human services to meet your needs. The database allows you to browse hundreds of health and human services online, learn about specific programs, intake requirements, eligibility, operation hours and more. The database also has information on disaster related services. The database can be located by clicking here.
This program is a collaborative project of the United Ways of West Virginia.
How 211 Works
211 works a bit like 911. Calls to 211 are routed by the local telephone company to a local or regional calling center. The 211 center’s referral specialists receive requests from callers, access databases of resources available from private and public health and human service agencies, match the callers’ needs to available resources, and link or refer them directly to an agency or organization that can help.
Types of Referrals Offered by 211
Basic Human Needs Resources – including food and clothing banks, shelters, rent assistance, and utility assistance.
Physical and Mental Health Resources – including health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, maternal health resources, health insurance programs for children, medical information lines, crisis intervention services, support groups, counseling, and drug and alcohol intervention and rehabilitation.
Work Support – including financial assistance, job training, transportation assistance and education programs.
Access to Services in Non-English Languages – including language translation and interpretation services to help non-English-speaking people find public resources (foreign language services vary by location).
Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities – including adult day care, community meals, respite care, home health care, transportation and homemaker services.
Children, Youth and Family Support – including child care, after-school programs, educational programs for low-income families, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, mentoring, tutoring and protective services.
Suicide Prevention – referral to suicide prevention help organizations. Callers can also dial the new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline three-digit number, 988.
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, is operated in West Virginia by First Choice Services and funded by the Bureau for Behavioral Health. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help. With options for using 988 through voice calls, chat, and text, individuals can receive the help they need in the way that is most convenient and comfortable for them. Funding for the transition was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). To learn more about 988, visit the SAMHSA website.