2-1-1 Texas is an easy to dial phone number that provides information on heath 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. Press “1” for an English speaking operator, “2” for a Spanish speaking operator, or “0” for other languages. Once you select a language, you will hear a prompt for COVID-19 press option “6”. If you would like information on local community resources (United Way of Laredo, press “1”, for state services (Medicaid, food stamps, CHIPS or TANIF) press “2), to report fraud (Office of the Inspector General) press “3” or to register for evacuation registry (STEAR) press “4”. You can choose option “8” for assistance with mental health and/or substance use disorders.
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 hosts the local line Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm. The United Way of Greater Houston hosts the line after hours, on weekends and holidays.
2-1-1 provides information such as where licensed child care services available in the community, where children can participate in summer food programs, where the nearest run-a-way 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. In 2020, the United Way of Laredo South Texas Region AIC staff handled over 103,000 calls providing information on services available to those in need. Callers received information such as where to go for food stamps, where to call to donate clothing, where to go for counseling or financial assistance.
2-1-1 is not a number to call for life threatening emergency assistance. You should call 9-1-1 for life threatening calls.