History of Vermont 211


  • Hotline for Help is established as a volunteer hotline and community Information & Referral (I&R) service for Vermont’s Windham County residents.


  • The Champlain Initiative is launched and a need for connecting people to services comes out of a community vision process.


  • Hotline for Help merges with United Way of Windham County to maximize resources of both organizations to meet community needs. United Way’s HELPLINE Program establishes comprehensive database of health and human services for people in Windham County.


  • Representatives from United Ways of Vermont , Vermont Agency of Human Services, Area Agencies on Aging , Vermont Department of Libraries, E-911, and other service providers, begin planning for the development of a 211 service for Vermont.


  • GET INFO Champlain Valley is established at United Way of Chittenden County as a community I&R service for Chittenden County residents.


  • United Way of Chittenden County and United Way of Windham County merge their GET INFO and HELPLINE telephone I&R programs and regional databases to form the foundation of a statewide database and information & referral service.
  • The www.vermont211.org website is launched and includes a searchable database of services.

2002 – 2004

  • Fletcher Allen Community Health Foundation, Fanny Allen Foundation, Vermont Agency of Human Services, Vermont Community Foundation, Champlain Initiative, and the United Ways of Vermont all contribute to the early funding efforts to support the vision of a statewide I&R service in Vermont.


  • Vermont Public Service Board approves United Ways of Vermont as the designated service manager of 211 in Vermont.


  • United Ways of Vermont officially launches 211 in Vermont. 211 is available as a local call from anywhere in Vermont
  • Governor James Douglas announces a public/private partnership between the Vermont Agency of Human Services and United Ways of Vermont as well as major funding for Vermont 211.
  • United Ways of Vermont secures funding for Vermont 211 from each of the 10 regional United Ways in Vermont.


  • The year-end report for 2005 shows Vermont 211 call volume doubled from about 2,500 in 2004 to 5,000 in 2005.
  • Partnership with Maine 211 Call Center makes possible the expansion of Vermont 211 service hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


  • The year-end report for 2007 shows Vermont 211 call volume continues to grow from 8,346 in 2006 to 16,532 in 2007.


  • Vermont 211 becomes a core partner in Governor James Douglas' Food and Fuel Partnership. The 211 number is designated as the entry point to the resources available to Vermonters who are worried about the high cost of food and fuel, especially as winter approaches.
  • The year-end report for 2008 shows Vermont 211 call volume continues to grow from 16,532 in 2007 to 25,095 in 2008.


  • In celebration of Vermont 211's fourth anniversary, staff and volunteers gather at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier to hear a declaration of February 11, 2009 as “2-1-1 Day” in Vermont. Governor James Douglas signs the proclamation; a cake cutting ceremony follows.
  • Vermont 211 assists the Vermont Department of Health with H1N1 (Swine Flu) public inquiry calls.
  • Vermont 211 begins answering the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Vermont. In addition, a statewide implementation of software will allow Vermont 211 and core partners of the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) to track calls and resources.


  • Vermont 211 is awarded a Certificate of Accreditation from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). This AIRS Accreditation acknowledges that Vermont 211 demonstrated competencies in applying the AIRS Standards of Professional Information and Referral.
  • Vermont 211 enters into a contract with the Vermont Agency of Human Services, Department for Children and Families, Economic Services Division to provide after-hours call coverage including emergency housing.
  • Vermont 211 participates in a two day multi-agency catastrophic event exercise simulating a massive natural disaster devastating the state by causing mass casualties, tens of thousands of power outages, and extensive damage due to thousands of downed trees and flooding in the aftermath.
  • Vermont 211 relocates its call center to Post Office Square in Essex Junction.


  • Vermont 211 receives over 1,500 damage reports in response to the spring flooding. As a result of the post-disaster response evaluation, United Ways of Vermont, Vermont 211, Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) and Vermont Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VT VOAD) establish the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund to provide a means for financial donations to support those affected by disaster in Vermont.
  • Tropical Storm Irene makes landfall in Vermont on August 28th. Vermont 211 receives roughly 10,000 calls in a 10-day period from individuals who sustained damage from the storm. Vermont 211 works closely with the State of Vermont and community partners to record damage and report data to FEMA in order to secure a Federal Disaster Declaration and to assist partners in targeting response and recovery efforts.
  • The year-end report for 2011 shows that Vermont 211 received over 51,000 calls and our call staff made more than 63,000 referrals

2011 – 2012

  • Vermont 211 continues to work with the State of Vermont, FEMA, and community partners to support ongoing recovery efforts through Vermont’s local long term recovery committees and the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.


  • Help Me Grow, a specialized Care Coordination initiative for parents of children pre-natal through age 8 comes to Vermont 211 through a partnership with the VT Department of Health.
  • Vermont 211 receives reacreditation through AIRS and moves to its current location in Essex.


  • After hours contractor notified 211 that they will not be able to renew our contract after August.
  • Funding is secured to expand in-state hours to midnight M-F.


  • Vermont 211 turned 15 on February 11, 2020.  Celebrated 211 Day at the State House.
  • 2020 also saw the launch of refreshed branding and materials.

Additional information