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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

2-1-1 is a free, easy-to-remember phone number connecting callers with health and human services in their community.

When you dial 2-1-1, you will talk to a trained resource specialist who has access to comprehensive database listings of nearly all health and human services that exists in Texas. This includes but is not limited to: rent and utility assistance, food, emergency shelters, where to get employment help, medical and mental health assistance, help with transportation, and trained suicide intervention counseling. You can also get information on affordable child care, information about caring for an aging relative, or help recovering from a disaster.

Information and referral is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Information can be provided in over 90 different languages.

Information and Referral (option 1) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Information can be provided in over 90 different languages.

Eligibility Services/State Benefits (option 2) is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm.

The Office of Inspector General, to report waste, fraud, and abuse (option 3) is available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

If you are calling from outside of Texas, or have technical difficulties when dialing 2-1-1 from your cell phone, voice-over-IP, or office location, please dial the toll free alternate access number at 1-877-541-7905.

Any individual looking for information or assistance to identify the services best suited to meet his or her needs is eligible to call. Case managers, church leaders, employers, teachers or other agencies calling on behalf of their clients, members, employees or students are also welcome.

2-1-1 Texas is a free, easy-to-remember phone number connecting callers with health and human services in their community, as well as, state benefits and reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.

3-1-1 (where available) is city non-emergency police/utilities (i.e. downed trees in the roadway, escaped livestock, etc.) – things that need attention, but are not life or death emergencies.

4-1-1 is for Directory Assistance such as local and long-distance phone numbers, area codes, and addresses to businesses. This call will cost you a flat rate fee (depending on your service provider).

5-1-1 is a nationwide number used for traveler information and is promoted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transport System initiative.

7-1-1 is for RELAY TEXAS, which is for communication between TTY users and hearing persons. This service connects those who have a TTY and needs to talk to someone who does not, or if you do not have a TTY and needs to talk to someone who does.

9-1-1 is reserved for emergency police, ambulance, poison, and fire.

The Information and Referral services available through 2-1-1 are staffed by Call Specialists who are working towards or have received their endorsement as a Certified Information and Referral Specialist (CIRS) by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems(AIRS). These Call Specialists are trained to provide you with professional service according to the AIRS Standards. They are skilled at quickly searching through a comprehensive database to find the most accurate and appropriate referrals to meet your needs.

Following nationally accepted standards ( for the delivery of information and referral, a network of 2-1-1 Area Information Centers (or AICs) linked together provide information about health and human service resources throughout Texas.

Callers get up-to-date information about both state and local community resources.

Individuals and their families save time and effort time by more effectively searching for and accessing a variety of health and human services.

Employers realize productivity gains as employees spend less time on or off-the-job seeking services.

Public and private providers capture savings resulting from reduced numbers of inappropriate referrals and misdirected calls.

2-1-1 Area Information Centers across the state follow nationally accepted professional standards for resource information management and delivery of service.

The site contains comprehensive information about health and human services programs in Texas, which includes but is not limited to:

- Assistance for food
- Housing and shelter
- Education
- Legal
- Child care
- Emergencies
- Physical and mental health
- Financial assistance
- Transportation
- State agency and program information

Programs meeting our Inclusion Criteria are geographically indexed by city, zip code and by county.

Please review our Inclusion Criteria to determine whether or not you may be eligible for inclusion in this database.

Contact your local information center and ask for the resource manager, who will be able to provide you with specifics on what programs are eligible to be listed in this database.

In order to add, update or remove your program profiles in this database, fill out the Resource Provider Form. Your request will be forwarded to your local resource manager for review and possible approval.

All child care providers in the 2-1-1 database are either licensed or registered by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). The information listed within this site comes from DFPS.

No. The service that 2-1-1 provides is information and referral; we do not directly provide child care or any other services listed in our database. The 2-1-1 information specialist will help you to locate the child care options that fit your budget and child care needs. If you qualify for assistance with your child care costs, 2-1-1 will provide you with the information you need to access that assistance. includes licensed and registered child care providers in Texas. A new feature is information on public school programs, including Pre-Kindergarten and after-school programs.

Some programs have eligibility requirements. General eligibility guidelines are found at The site also includes a convenient form that allows the visitor to send an email request directly to the local community program.

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