2-1-1 is making a daily difference

Celebrating National 2-1-1 Day

Published Tuesday, February 11, 2020
by Lisa Smith

Every day, someone in the Fox Cities 2-1-1 call center service area needs a listening ear, a source of knowledge, or a helping hand.


Every day, that call center, operated and partially funded by United Way Fox Cities, answers those calls and provides those essential services to people in need.


The Fox Cities’ 2-1-1 call center services 10 counties including Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago. In 2019, that call center took over 12,600 calls.


Dialing 2-1-1 is the first action many take when they need assistance with health or human service issues. Callers from all walks of life are offered answers, resources, and perhaps most importantly, someone to listen and care.

Callers speak to a live, trained 2-1-1 specialist. That specialist connects them to a local social service agency, government office, or other resource that can address questions or needs.


Calls taken range from a mother needing to pay her electric bill, a person with a loved one facing addiction, an individual searching for legal advice, or a father needing mental health assistance for their child.


Every February 11 is celebrated as National 2-1-1 Day, established bring awareness to the free 2-1-1 service used by millions of people across the country.


“National 2-1-1 Day is an opportunity to spread the word about a free and confidential service available in our community and beyond,” said Lisa Smith, 2-1-1 Manager. “Our call center staff has an immense passion for helping each caller and connecting them to the resources they need.”


2-1-1 quick facts:

  • The service is free, confidential, and operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Callers can connect through call, text or online chat
  • The number one request of Fox Cities’ callers is for housing assistance
  • Fox Cities 2-1-1 staff has received over 120 hours of training specific to addiction issues