Help is Just 3 Digits Away!

Help is Just 3 Digits Away!

Call 211 for SD Helpline Center

Golden West telephone subscribers are now able to dial  a new three-digit code for assistance. Dialing 211 provides access to a wide range of information and resources for resi­dents across the state.

Most people are familiar with abbreviated dialing codes such as 411 (directory assistance) and 911 (emergency services). These easy-to-remember numbers offer callers quick and con­venient access to important resources. The Federal Commu­nications Commission (FCC) has expanded this practice to provide additional three-digit numbers for special public use.

What’s the 211?

All South Dakotans seeking community and social resourc­es can now dial 211 for assistance. The 211 Helpline was established to provide individuals in need of information and support with easy access to professionally trained specialists.

The use of 211 dates to the 1970s, when New York City used it as an automated credit request number for disconnected or misdialed calls. In I997, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta established 211 as an informational  resource. Three years later, the FCC approved its use as a three-digit nationwide number for information and social service referrals.

In South Dakota, 211 has been available in a limited capacity since 2001. The state legislature passed a bill enabling the Helpline to reach all 66 counties in 2020. Residents across the state can now dial 211 for information and support. Telephone calls are free and confidential.

Callers who dial 211 are routed to a local or regional call center in either Rapid City or Sioux Falls. T here, referral specialists direct them to appropriate agencies and commu­nity organizations for assistance. Centers are staffed around the clock to provide 24/7 assistance for the elderly, disabled , non-English speakers, people who are experiencing a crisis, those who are new to a community, and others.

A wide variety of referrals are available through 211.
  • Basic Human Needs Resources (food and clothing banks, shelters, rent and utility assistance).
  • Physical &  Mental Health Resources (health  insurance programs,  crisis  intervention services, support groups, counseling , drug and alcohol rehabilitation, Medicaid and Medicare).
  • Work Support (financial assistance, job skills training, transportation assistance, education programs).
  • Non-English Language Services (language translation and interpretation).
  • Support for Older Americans & Persons with Disabilities (adult day care, transportation , respite and home health care, community meals, homemaker services).
  • Children, Youth & Family Support (childcare, after-school programs, family resource centers, summer camps and recreation programs, educational programs for low-income families, mentoring , tutoring, and protective services).

211 Helpline resources are also available by text (text your zip code to 898211), email (help@helplinecenter.org), online (helplinecenter.org), and via a 211 app, available as a free download through the App Store and Google Play

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