United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties collaborated with many local and state organizations for several years to bring the 2-1-1- telephone information and referral system to Benton and Franklin Counties. It was launched on February 22, 2006, in the State of Washington.

2-1-1 is now operating in 48 states and serving over 78% of our nation's population. It is designed to connect people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. 9-1-1 is the parallel service that has existed for several years connecting people to emergency services.

The benefits of having a 2-1-1 Call Center in our state and region are far reaching:2-1-1 is a cost-effective answer to help people navigate the complex and ever-growing maze of human service agencies and programs.

  • People can cut through red tape to gain access to a full range of community resources from a call center staff person.
  • 2-1-1 encourages prevention and fosters self-sufficiency and civic engagement.
  • Employers can provide employees with one number to call whether they have a question or need support in a crisis.
  • 2-1-1 connects volunteers with agencies and programs needing assistance.
  • 2-1-1 can be used as a community planning tool by using aggregate data about the types of calls a 2-1-1 Call Center receives to anticipate demand for services and mobilize resources to meet changing needs.
  • 2-1-1 can be a back-up for 9-1-1 in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

The Washington Information Network 2-1-1, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was charged by the State Legislature to lead the effort to establish 2-1-1 services in Washington. People For People, a multifaceted not-for-profit organization in Yakima, was designated by WIN 2-1-1 as the Greater Columbia Region's 2-1-1 Call Center.

For additional information, please go to www.win211.org or dial 2-1-1.