Chautauqua County Witnesses Surge in 211 Requests, Urges Awareness on National 211 Day

211 Call Center Operator photo credit: United Way of Southern Chautauqua County

(WNY News Now) – Chautauqua County – Chautauqua County residents sought assistance through 211 Western New York a total 2,735 times in 2023, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s 711 calls.

A free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 211 is supported by United Way and available in 99% of the United States to anyone with questions or in need.

This Sunday, February 11 is National 211 Day. To foster a greater awareness of the number and the many ways in which it can help with health and human services questions, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is asking area residents to spread the word: 2-1-1 is a number worth remembering. The service can also be reached by email and text.

Of the 2,735 requests made to 211 in 2023 by county residents, a total of 1,677 were regarding employment and income; 358 were requests for housing help; 129 were requests for help with legal, consumer or public safety needs; 102 were requests for help with healthcare; 95 were requests for food relief and 69 were requests for help with utilizes. 211 WNY was also contacted by county residents last year with questions about mental health issues, addiction, clothing, education and childcare.

“The proof is in the numbers,” said Amy Rohler, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Executive Director. “Chautauqua County residents have need of health and human services, and they have questions on how to find, access and obtain those services – and thankfully 211 WNY is there to help.”

“It’s also of note that 211 is funded in part by United Way,” Rohler added. “If you are a donor to our fundraising campaigns, this is just one of the programs that your gift goes to support. 211 WNY is there for you friends, neighbors, coworkers and so many others due in part to your generosity.”

211 WNY covers seven counties in WNY: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. Allegany County is covered by 211 Finger Lakes.


211 is the most comprehensive source of information about local resources and services in the country. It’s powered by people: thousands of caring, local experts are available to help, 24/7. Calls to 211 are confidential and can be anonymous.

The 211 network in the United States responds to more than 18 million requests for help every year. Most calls, web chats, emails and texts are from people looking for help meeting basic needs like housing, food, transportation, and health care. 211 can be accessed by phone or computer, locally at A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services.

Information available through 211 include: basic needs, food assistance, free tax preparation, holiday assistance, housing, job training, legal counseling, mental health services, substance abuse services, volunteer opportunities, and more.

If you are an employer, you surely know that local services addressing these issues can be essential to helping members of your staff in times of need. To receive a free flier which can be printed and hung in rest rooms, break rooms and conference rooms, email or call 716-483-1561.

In addition to dialing 211, the service can also be reached by dialing 888-696-9211, or texting your zip code to 898-211 — however text support is only available Monday-Friday, 8:30am-3:30pm.


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