Area Information Center (211)

211 Texas

Heart of Texas 211 is a “free” social service help line answered by trained specialists who assist callers with their social service needs and refer them to the service providers or agencies that can best assist them.  The help line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by Information-Referral Specialists.  Multi-lingual language assistance (Language Line) is available, if needed, for any caller speaking a foreign language. 

Our 211 staff provides assistance and information to callers concerning food, clothing, shelter, utility bill payment assistance, medical assistance, affordable childcare, eldercare, disaster relief, etc.

Individuals in need simply call “211” on their telephone from anywhere in the State of Texas and the call is routed to the nearest available Area Information Centers (AIC) where the call is answered.  There is no charge or fee for calling 211.

Texas Information and Referral Nework (TIRN) fills a substantial role in the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan and is part of a national initiative to provide information about health and human services to all callers regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, disability, or any other criteria. 

The TIRN network has assumed increased visibility and importance because of their effectiveness and success in dealing with hurricanes and natural disasters.  TIRN is the backbone for information distribution throughout the state during times of emergency and natural disasters including floods, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes. With each disaster, the 211 state network of local 211’s immediately begins to feel the impact of the disaster with thousands of frantic callers asking for evacuation assistance, shelters, food, supplies or simply information related to the disaster. 

211 takes between 30,000 and 45,000 calls per year and is on track to take more than 60,000 calls for 2021.

The 211 is one (1) of twenty-five (25) Area Information Centers designated by the Texas Information and Referral Network (TIRN). 

Staff includes:

Karen Pettit –  Manager

Marcy Whiddon –  Information & Referral/Community Database Specialist 

Belinda Arocha – Information & Referral Specialist

Joanna Whitehouse – Information & Referral Specialist

Debbie Jones – P. T. Information and Referral Specialist