In 1972 United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County began operating an information and referral center for the people of our county. Over the years this service changed names (First Call For Help, 2-1-1 of WNC and now NC 211) and expanded its service footprint.
But no matter what, we've always been committed to excellence. The Asheville 2-1-1 call center is an AIRS (Alliance of Information and Referral Systems) accredited call center. To be accredited by AIRS is a year-long, in-depth process to determine quality assurance for information and referral services. They assess more than 200 distinct operational components and finish with a detailed onsite review, including a comprehensive review of the agency’s resource database and a “secret shopper” monitoring of the agency’s information and referral service delivery. It is the industry standard in demonstrating the overall quality and effectiveness of an information and referral service, like 2-1-1. Once earned, the AIRS Accreditation distinction lasts for 5 years. The Asheville and Buncombe County call center has now been AIRS Accredited for 15 years, which is a true mark of the quality of our trained referral specialists' work, the resources they provide, and the data we’re able to capture from our 23 county service area.
We are also incredibly proud of the statewide leadership provided by United Way of North Carolina. Among the many things they do, this team works diligently to increase our capacity statewide and offers crucial coordination during natural disasters like our recent hurricanes and now, during this worldwide pandemic and economic crisis.