One-Stop Social Service Help Line in Illinois

2-1-1 Initiative Connects Illinoisans to Critical Services

Governor Pat Quinn today signed the 2-1-1 Service Act to advance the development and implementation of a health and human services help line for the people of Illinois. The hotline will be a 24-hour, one-stop telephone number that will connect citizens to a variety of social services.

"This legislation advances our efforts to provide a one-stop help line that connects callers with vital services and programs across various state agencies," Governor Quinn said. "I'm excited to get 2-1-1 rolling so that we can better serve the people of Illinois."

The 2-1-1 Service Act allows the Illinois Department of Human Services to identify a lead organization to plan and implement the statewide information and referral system for health and human services. It is anticipated the 2-1-1 will be active across the state by early 2010.

In July of 2000, the Federal Communications Commission reserved the 2-1-1 dialing code for "community information and referral services."

As 9-1-1 is the phone number to call in case of emergencies, 2-1-1 provides individuals with community programs, government agencies, health organizations and other services to help them address their specific needs.

The hotline will streamline access to service delivery networks for people throughout the state. Once the individual dials 2-1-1, they will be connected to a call center where they will speak to a professional information and referral specialist who will refer or connect the caller to the correct agency based on the services needed.

SB 1922, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), passed unanimously in both chambers.

"2-1-1 allows people to give help and get help," said Greg Cott, President of United Way of McLean County and Treasurer of United Way of Illinois. "It is also a perfect example of how public-private partnerships can create innovative solutions that make a meaningful difference. I thank Senator Garrett, Representative Cross and Governor Quinn for working to make statewide 2-1-1 a reality."