For Agencies

What’s included in the 2-1-1 HELPLINE Service Directory and what do you do with the information I provide?


Great question! Here is some more information:


Maintaining Service Directory Data 

  • Our database is updated every day as we learn about changes. nationally certified staff continually check resources and contacts to verify changes to ensure that our data is as accurate and up to date as possible. We do this by subscribing to newsletters, following agencies on social media, participating in coalitions and collaborations, and through a formal update process connecting directly with the agencies within our service area. But we are a small staff, therefore we request and encourage you to contact us immediately if you see any information in printed or electronic directories that you believe is inaccurate.


Style Rules

  • Database curators enter agency information according to internal style rules that have been aligned with national standards for other 211 providers across the country. In general agency descriptions must state the agency type and provide a general description of services and programs. We do not use agency mission statements or evaluative adjectives such as “comprehensive,” “successful,” etc. We have many other style rules that follow standards for when we must use complete sentences in descriptions; how to write addresses, hours, and administrator titles, etc. For questions on what we include in our service directory refer to the 2-1-1 HELPLINE Inclusion/Exclusion Guidelines. Additional questions can be directed to


Searching for Services 

  • The 2-1-1 HELPLINE service directory is indexed, or crossed referenced using the Taxonomy of Human Services, a standard indexing system used by human service information and referral systems throughout the United States. This national taxonomy contains thousands of service terms, organized into ten general categories and many subcategories. These terms are used by staff and public users of our website (among other searchable data) to search for services within a community for individuals and families in need. This indexing also allows us the ability to run comprehensive, aggregate reports about services and needs within our communities. Agencies cannot re-name specific service terms since the terms are part of a national indexing system. However, we invite your comments and questions about how to best search our online service index or about reports and data we may be able to provide to support the work you are doing.


Primary vs. Secondary Services

  • Agencies are indexed for “primary services” only, and not for “secondary services.” Primary services are entry-point services or services available to anyone that meets eligibility; secondary services are services that a consumer receives once they become agency clients. For example, support groups primary service may be individuals recovering from substance use disorders, and a secondary service may be childcare services for individuals attending the meetings.  The support group is a primary service because it is available to anyone in the community, while the childcare services are secondary service because it is only available to those that are attending the support group.