February 11 is National 2-1-1 Day and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is proud to join United Ways across North Carolina and the nation in celebrating 2-1-1, the free, confidential information and referral system that connects callers and web visitors to health and human services 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year.
2-1-1 helps people find resources for service needs such as food, housing, utility payment assistance, job training, information about health care providers, and more. NC 2-1-1 is also a part of the NC State Emergency Response Team and the Asheville Call Center serves on a variety of western North Carolina emergency management teams. When activated during a disaster, NC 2-1-1 becomes the public information portal for disaster-related information.
Residents who are looking for help can simply dial 2-1-1 to reach a trained NC 2-1-1 call specialist who can connect them to free and low-cost local health and human services. Calls to NC 2-1-1 are free and confidential, and information can be provided in most languages. NC 2-1-1’s database of more than 19,000 resources is also accessible via nc211.org for anyone wishing to self-search for organizations and programs to meet their needs.
"While our database is accessible via nc211.org the experience and professionalism of our trained specialists means that callers in WNC get the benefit of a compassionate ear and one-on-one problem solving during what is often a difficult life situation,” said Marla Browne, Director of NC 2-1-1’s Asheville Call Center and staff member of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.
“Since the early 1970’s, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County has provided high-quality information and referral services, initially to Buncombe County residents as “First Call For Help” and eventually to 16 western counties when, in 2001, we partnered with United Way of North Carolina and NC 2-1-1“ said David Bailey, President and CEO for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. “Running the Asheville Call Center, and having this easy to remember three-digit number to connect people to the health and human resources they need, any time of the day or night is a profound responsibility. We are proud to be a part of this statewide and national system that brings such a valuable service to our community.”
NC 2-1-1 is available in all 100 North Carolina counties. In 2018, NC 2-1-1 call specialists helped more than 152,000 callers find services, in their local community, for more than 173,000 needs statewide. Additionally, more than 400,000 searches for programs and resources were conducted through the web-based search tool.