If you need help finding resources in your community and don’t know where to turn, NC 211 is the place to start. United Way’s NC 211 is an information and referral service that connects North Carolinians to verified resources for basic needs, such as housing and utility assistance, food, healthcare, transportation, and more.

Anyone in North Carolina can make a free and confidential call to 2-1-1 (or 888-892-1162). A trained Community Resource Specialist will listen, identify needs, and connect callers to local resources that fit their situation. Available in most languages, NC 211 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For those unable to make a phone call, the search tool on nc211.org provides detailed and verified information on resources across the state.



What role does NC 211 play in a disaster?

NC 211 is a member of the State Emergency Response Team and is part of the State’s Emergency Plan. In the event of a natural or public disaster, NC 211 is a public information portal for residents to receive real-time communications and resources related to the disaster. Caller needs are tracked in order to provide information on trends and local challenges that residents are facing.

During Hurricane Florence, NC 211 handled nearly 19,000 calls and texts from those impacted by the storm. In 2020, as part of the State’s response to COVID-19, NC 211 was activated and handled nearly 182,000 calls and emails.

Does the online search tool provide the same results as dialing 2-1-1?

The online database is the same database used by the call specialists. However, our call specialists are trained to search using specific keywords which may provide additional resources. If you don’t find what you need online, we strongly encourage you to call 2-1-1. Community Resource Specialists are available 24/7/365 to help.

How is calling 2-1-1 different from 9-1-1?

2-1-1 is specifically used to connect people to health and human services information, such as housing, healthcare, food, and more. 9-1-1 is reserved for life-threatening emergencies. Check out our handy guide below for more information!

2-1-1 is information and referral to health and human services. 9-1-1 is life or property threatening emergencies. 9-8-8 is support for mental health crises. 3-1-1 is non-emergency assistance and government services. 4-1-1 is telephone directory or business listings.

I don't live in North Carolina. Can I still call 2-1-1?

If you are not located in North Carolina, you will need to dial 888-892-1162 to access the NC 211 call center. To find 2-1-1 call centers outside North Carolina visit 211.org.

How can I add my agency to the NC 211 database?

Visit nc211.org/add-your-agency/ to review the “Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria” and complete an application form. Our resource team will review and reach out within 7 days to verify your information.

Our History

1951 – United Way of North Carolina (UWNC) was incorporated as the membership organization for local United Ways across the state.

1998 – Nationally, 2-1-1 was designated by the FCC as the dialing code for health and human services resources

1999 – the NC Utilities Commission designated UWNC as the administrator for the 2-1-1 dialing code in North Carolina.

2015 – For 15 years, UWNC and local United Ways across the state invested dollars and community knowledge to build the NC 211 infrastructure to support a successful information and referral system and robust database of local community services. In 2015, the long term goal of providing 2-1-1 service to North Carolinians in all 100 counties was achieved.

Present – The statewide system has continuously gained recognition as the primary source for health and human services information and resources in the State and currently handles around 150,000 calls for information and referral services annually.  NC 211 also serves as a key member of the State Emergency Response Team, activated by State leaders during Hurricanes Matthew and Florence and for the State response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


NC 211 receives sustainable support from many local United Ways and North Carolina state government, allowing us to offer this critical service 24/7/365 in all 100 counties across the state.

United Way of NC/NC 211 also serves as an implementation partner for the NCCARE360 program, alongside Foundation for Health Leadership Innovation, Department of Health and Human Services, Unite Us, and Expound Decision Systems.