United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta first launched 2-1-1 in 1997. 2-1-1 is now available in 41 states. Eighteen New England states have statewide coverage including, NH, VT, CT, MA, ME and RI.
United Way of America supports 2-1-1 as the first number to call to connect with health and human services and volunteer opportunities. United Ways have a long-standing tradition of commitment to funding information and referral (I&R) services in their respective communities. They have also declared February 11th National 2-1-1 Day.
NH 2-1-1 Background and Planning
The efforts to bring 2-1-1 to NH began in 2000 with the passage of House Bill 707. This bill established the NH 2-1-1 Commission. The commission was made up of representatives from the legislature, 9-1-1, the Department of Health and Human Services and local information and referral (I&R) agencies, specialized and comprehensive.
The commission's task was to review information and referral services in the State of NH and make recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on providing 2-1-1 services to the residents of NH.
In June 2002, the Legislature's 2-1-1 Commission formally accepted a design for NH's 2-1-1 service.
In 2003, five regional and statewide I&R agencies and the United Ways of New Hampshire joined to create the NH 2-1-1 Partnership. This Partnership petitioned the NH PUC to reserve 2-1-1 in its name.
In 2005, the NH 2-1-1 Partnership was awarded the 2-1-1 dialing code by the PUC. UWNH and the I&R agencies have since been working together to determine the most efficient, effective and sustainable operational model for NH 2-1-1.
In 2006, UWNH became the lead partner in the 2-1-1 effort, supporting a project director to assist with planning and development of 2-1-1 and recruiting a chief volunteer to assist the project director and establish a Task Force.
From April 2006 through July 2006, the project director and the volunteer Task Force Chairperson analyzed existing 2-1-1 programs and reviewed program costs, technology, staffing structure, call volume, phone systems, and current and future United Way funding for the five NH I&R agencies.
On June 30, 2006 at a UWNH meeting, the UWNH voted to support a centralized 2-1-1 system with one central call center and database initially operating 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In November 2007, in partnership with Public Service Company of New Hampshire, 2-1-1 NH began pilot operations using it's tollfree number to take calls forwarded from regional I & R programs by attrition.
On June 11 2008, United Ways of NH and its partners launched 2-1-1 services statewide. Citizens across the State of NH are able to connect, via landlines and cell phones, by simply dialing 2-1-1.