Since its founding, 211 San Diego has helped thousands of people each day connect with community, health, social, and disaster services and resources in our community.  

211 San Diego’s history can be traced back to the 1980s when INFO LINE—a predecessor of today’s organization— was created to serve as a countywide information and referral service for people seeking help. It later became a division of United Way of San Diego County, in partnership with the County and City of San Diego, keeping with national trends.  

In July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission created the 2-1-1 dialing code for community information and referral services. The easy-to-remember number provided a critical connection for the public to community-based organizations, and government agencies. Three years later, 211 San Diego became a standalone 501(c)(3) organization and has continued to operate as a nonprofit organization ever since answering our first call on July 1, 2005.  

During the 2007 firestorm that devastated our region, the County of San Diego’s Office of Emergency Services and the media encouraged people to call 2-1-1 for non-emergency disaster-related information. In ten days, 450,000 people called 2-1-1 for fire updates, evacuation and shelter information, road closure information, and more, essentially putting the easy-to-remember dialing code on the map.  

In the years following the firestorm, the County of San Diego recognized the importance of 211 during a disaster. Ever since, 211 San Diego has worked with the County to provide a better and more efficient system of care for individuals and families throughout our region.  

Over the next decade, 211 San Diego grew our team to meet the rising demand as our technology moved from information and referral to care coordination that uses a person-centered model. 

This tremendous growth led to the launch of the Community Information Exchange (CIE)® in 2018, which transformed how people find and access resources by addressing the whole health of a person through integrated, person-centered care. CIE is now a national model for using data to promote individual well-being as a foundation for a more holistic approach to community health. 

Today, 211 San Diego is the region’s one-stop shop for connections to community, health, and disaster services. We work to unify service providers in the San Diego region to build an efficient, accessible, and equitable system of care. Our data and insights are used to advocate for policy changes that address gaps in care and improve the whole health of our community. 

We’re committed to helping individuals and families in our region and improving the quality of life in our communities.