DuPage County Activates “211” Social Services Hotline

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On Tuesday, Nov. 15, DuPage County announced the activation of a new 24/7 hotline: 211, a phone number for DuPage County residents to call for social services.

“211 Is the number to call when you don’t know who to call,” said Julie Renehan, DuPage County Health and Human Services Chair.

The free information system was made possible thanks to the DuPage County Board’s allocation of $1.6 million from federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

“We are thrilled to offer expanded access to trained referral specialists, which was previously only available during weekday business hours. Now, residents can dial 211 anytime, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and they will reach specialists who will listen to their needs, identifying underlying issues, and connect them to available community resources,” said DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin.

DuPage County and the Village of Addison entered into an intergovernmental agreement, to use the latter’s dispatch center to handle evening, overnight, weekend and holiday calls. That partnership made those expanded hours possible.

Services Available

The roughly 640 service providers offer help with the following: 

  • Mental health services 
  • Addiction support
  • Crisis counseling/Disaster services 
  • Food programs 
  • Shelter/housing options 
  • Employment 
  • Education Support
  • Veterans  
  • Transportation 
  • Legal aid and public safety

“We have over a thousand resources in our database that we can refer individuals to. We have our own internal services. We provide a low income home energy assistance program here at the county, as well as the township supporting us in that. All those types of things that people would be calling about, we could refer them to services,” said Gina Strafford-Ahmed, DuPage County Public Aid Committee.

According to Strafford-Ahmed there will be over 200 languages with interpreters on standby for non-English speaking callers.


All calls will be confidential and no private information will be saved or shared.

“I just want to reassure anybody who calls 211 that these services are completely, absolutely confidential. I wanted to underscore that point,” said Dawn DeSart, DuPage County District 5 board member.

More information about the 211 hotline can be found online at 211dupage.gov. Residents may also go to that website for help in finding social service connections.

Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports.

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