211 offering help for FREE


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s February 11, and we are celebrating 211 day!

We caught up with Marie Alcorn of the United Way of Greater Knoxville to learn that 211 is and how it can help people.

What is 211?

It is an easy to remember telephone number that is available across the country (supported regionally) which offers free information, and also acts as a referral service.

It connects with a full range of community, social, health and government services including: housing, food, health facilities, legal & tax assistance, childcare, and volunteer opportunities.

There’s also a website that goes along with this service: www.tn211.org.

Who can use 211?

The regional 211 supports Knox and 14 other surrounding counties.

If the three-digit call does not go through call 865-215-4211.

It’s open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Why is a phone information service relevant?

People often don’t get the results they want if they do online searches, but more importantly, they want to talk with someone who is trained and has access to extensive information.

How do people know this is reliable?

United Ways wants folks to have the best information about services, so that is why they have committed financial support.

Information is updated continually by staff right here in Knoxville.

Trained professional telecommunication staff answer calls through the call center at the City of Knoxville.

The data United Ways collects helps determine what services need to be addressed.

“For example, based on the calls 211 receives, we know that the top three greatest needs are housing, food and utilities.”

Marie Alcorn

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