2-1-1 Texas is an easy to dial phone number that provides information on health and human services available in the community. 2-1-1 Texas is a program sponsored by the Health and Human Service Commission in conjunction with 25 local independent Area Information Centers across the state.
2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you dial 2-1-1 you will hear a prompt that will ask you to select a language preference. Then you will a prompt to press “1” for local community services (United Way of Laredo), “2” for state services (Medicaid, food stamps, CHIPS, or TANF) or “3” to report fraud (Office of the Inspector General).
2-1-1 is available in every county in the state of Texas. Locally, United Way of Laredo serves as the Area Information Center that provides information for the Jim Hogg, Webb and Zapata County areas. For our area, United Way of Laredo host the local line Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm. The United Way of Houston hosts the line after hours, on weekends and holidays.
2-1-1 provides information such as where licensed child care services are available in the community, where children can participate in summer food programs, where the nearest run-away or domestic violence shelter is, where to turn for counseling services, etc.
During emergency or disaster situations, the 2-1-1 number can also assist you with where to go for emergency shelter, what evacuation routes to take, information as to what you should take with you when you are evacuating, etc. During hurricanes Katrina and Rita, United Way of Laredo volunteers and staff handled such as where to go for food stamps, where to call to donate clothing, where to go for disaster assistance, etc.
2-1-1 is not a number to call for life threatening emergency assistance. You should call 9-1-1 for those type of calls.