Below are frequently asked questions and their answers. Click on the title of the question that is most applicable.If you are have difficulty finding resources using this online search engine, please click here to email a Referral Specialist or dial 211 to speak to a Referral Specialist.


Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs

What is 2-1-1?

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community.
While services that are offered through 2-1-1 vary from community to community, 2-1-1 provides callers with information about and referrals to human services for every day needs and in times of crisis.

For example, 2-1-1 can offer access to the following types of services:
  • Basic Human Needs Resource (i.e. food banks, clothing)
  • Physical and Mental Health Resources (i.e. medical information lines, crisis intervention services)
  • Employment Support (i.e. unemployment benefits, financial assistance)
  • Support for Older Americans and Persons with Disabilities (i.e. home health care, Meals on Wheels, respite care)
  • Support for Children, Youth and Families (i.e. Quality childcare, Success by 6, Head Start, summer camps)

Is 2-1-1 available nation-wide?

Yes, 2-1-1 is available in all 50 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and Canada. Approximately 80% of the U.S. population is covered by a 2-1-1 organization.  For more information go to

Western Colorado 2-1-1 is part of the Colorado 2-1-1 State Collaborative. 100 % of the Colorado’s population in 64 counties has access to 2-1-1. For more information onthe Colorado 2-1-1 state collaborative, go to

How is 2-1-1 funded?

2-1-1 centers have various funding sources -- local United Ways, community foundations, Federal, state and local government funds.

What will Western Colorado 2-1-1 do?

2-1-1 will deliver comprehensive information and referral services, free of charge to the caller by telephone , through the internet, or CO2-1-1 app.

2-1-1 effectively connects people in need with community resources. Information and Referral Specialists maintain the database or organizations and the programs/services they provide.

Western Colorado 2-1-1 does not provide direct service in the form of case management, counseling, or social services.

How does calling Western Colorado 2-1-1 differ from dialing 4-1-1?

A variety of factors distinguish 2-1-1 from 4-1-1. For example, the 2-1-1 call center and referral database is maintained by a nonprofit organization, rather than a telecommunications company, and the service is offered to callers at absolutely no charge. Moreover, Western Colorado 2-1-1 minimizes the use of automation, and we provide much more than  mere directory assistance. Rather, we employ trained I&R (information and Referral) specialists who ask questions, make assessments and offer assistance navigating potential services providers. The I&R specialist are both caring and empathetic; they are the people to call when you don’t know where to turn for help.

Who can use Western Colorado 2-1-1?

Western Colorado 2-1-1 is available to every resident and visitor in our service region.

How does Western Colorado 2-1-1 benefit me?

There may come a time when you need help, but won’t know exactly what kind of assistance is available – let alone how to access it. Western Colorado 2-1-1 can assist by helping clarify your personal situation and then employing an extensive up-to-date database to determine the best resource(s) for you. Western Colorado 2-1-1 is where you go when you don’t know where to turn for help, acting as a single point of contact to thousands of social service programs.

How does an agency/nonprofit become included in your program/database?

There are a variety of options for bringing one’s organization or program to our attention. We are actively involved in the community, so we often hear about programs through word-of-mouth channels. Alternatively, a group can call or send us an email explaining its mission and operations and ask to be included in our database. It is important to note the while Western Colorado 2-1-1 often conducts informal assessments of organizations, and will under certain circumstances remove an organization from our database, we are not equipped to offer in-depth evaluations of any particular nonprofit agency, charity or program. Those organizations interested in being included in our database for the first time or wishing to update their current listing in our database can visit the For Agencies pages of our website.