211 Chronology

Pre 1997 – United Ways across the nation provide Information and Referral (I&R) services through First Call for Help.

1998-1999 – United Way of America, other local United Ways and other non-profits begin to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider setting aside 211 nationally as a health and human services I&R number.

1999 - Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Montgomery Area United Way to provide N11 service in the State of Alabama.

July 2000 – FCC sets aside 211 as the national dialing code for health and human service information and referral.

2001 – Montgomery Area United Way hosted first statewide meeting of United Ways, Information and Referral Centers, and others to begin discussion of implementing 211 statewide.

March 2002 – 211 in Montgomery area on-line.

2003 – Newly merged Family Counseling Center and Contact Mobile agree to house First Call for Help and to operate it alongside their existing crisis line.

2003 – Senators Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton introduced bi-partisan legislation named the Calling 2-1-1 Act that would provide Federal funding for 2-1-1 and encourage support of it nationwide. To date the bill has not passed, but it still sits before Congress.

August 2004 – Montgomery 211 Connects receives Medicaid Grant of $77,459 to expand coverage of 211 in the State of Alabama. $19,000 was available to turn all Bellsouth switches statewide, $4,000 of which was used in Mobile, Washington and Clarke counties. The plan is to bring 211 on line along the I-65 corridor, which would make it accessible to approximately 68% of Alabama’s population.

January 2005 – Meeting held at Mobile Infirmary’s Hearin-Chandler Auditorium to raise awareness of 211 with city and county officials, UW agencies, and other non-profits.

October 2005 – All Bellsouth switches turned on along the I-65 corridor.

March 2006 – UWSWA receives HRRF Phase II Grant from United Way of America which includes $74,780 for 211 start-up.

July 2006 – UWSWA program First Call for Help evolves into Southwest Alabama 211, which is housed at UWSWA.

October 2006 – UWSWA Board of Trustees approves the United Way 2-1-1 initiative for implementation for Mobile, Washington and Clarke counties with future service planned for Choctaw and Monroe Counties.

United Way of Southwest Alabama
P.O. Box 91068  |  Mobile, Alabama 36691-1068  |  uwswa.org