2-1-1 Counts


2-1-1 systems store enormous amounts of data that could highlight a community’s greatest needs and help service agencies act more swiftly and efficiently.  Can these data be made available in a useful way to those who serve vulnerable populations?

In June 2013, the Health Communication Research Laboratory received funding from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust Foundation to help build our 2-1-1 data “dashboard” to display the data. Since launching in October 2014, 2-1-1 Counts has hosted web-based demonstrations for more than 175 individuals and received more than 10,000 page views from 49 states. 2-1-1s in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York and North Carolina have partnered with 2-1-1 Counts; the resulting dashboards cover nearly to one-fourth of the nation’s population.

In addition to 2-1-1s, users have included government, service and health agencies as well as philanthropic and financial organizations and community members who use 2-1-1 services. 2-1-1 Counts data have been used to write grants, publish up-to-date reports and show evidence of community need. 2-1-1 Counts has received positive feedback from 2-1-1 stakeholders and legislators and has been called a “real game changer” and the “best investment made in a long time” by 2-1-1 administrators.

We continue to maintain and expand our relationships with 2-1-1 Missouri and other 2-1-1s and information-and-referral organizations across the U.S. and Canada. We listen to 2-1-1 Counts users and implement enhancements based on critical feedback.

We are enhancing the 2-1-1 Counts search functions, redesigning the national landing page, increasing the data we collect and connecting to social media. We are also programming 2-1-1 Counts dashboards for more 2-1-1s.  The United Way of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a marketing campaign and evaluation tool to be completed by summer 2016.


Balaji Golla

2-1-1 Counts in action