211 Answers

211 Answers

Aloha United Way’s 211 Helpline is available statewide and it is not a government program - we depend on grants and donations in order to provide the service. There are thousands of resources available across hundreds of agencies, but how does an individual search, find, and access those resources alone? There’s no way a person, even with Google search skills can do everything, especially if they are in crisis. Well, that’s what 211 does - we bridge the gap between people and resources. We collect community resources, do the research needed to understand what is available and where, then we organize and maintain the collection while actively searching to add and inform where service gaps are in Hawaii.

We are staffed with specially-trained and knowledgeable 211 Specialists who are able to identify needs and resources so the caller can find help. When we can’t find the resources needed, we collect the data and it is used to supplement gaps in service. In this way, AUW’s 211 Helpline data helps shape policy decisions and community work. We actively source and make available not only call information, but information derived from text message, email, and even website search on our new search platform. While 211 is a bridge between people and resources, as well as agencies and people, we also connect providers with data needed to make decisions about where resources should be.

Whether people reach out to 211 to learn more about free tax services or to learn to ride a bike and rehabilitation centers, we are there. No one can say it better than our clients:

I didn’t know where to look for help so I was so happy to get the guidance. The information got me pointed in the right direction.

Lani S.

(Lani’s husband is paralyzed and she wanted to find resources available for physical therapy.)

I didn’t know where to go this year.

Lois B.

(With a limited income and few resources, she needed to find help with her taxes.)

Katerina, a 61 year-old Waikiki resident called AUW’s 211 Helpline in a panic.

I received a letter that I needed to update my SNAP information otherwise benefits would stop. I asked a friend to help me with the computer because I don’t know how to do that stuff.

SNAP, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a lifeline for many households and kūpuna like Katerina, in particular. Since the pandemic hit, Katerina’s hours cleaning vacation rentals had been cut to almost nothing.

There have been so many cancellations, I’m just not working enough hours

SNAP benefits make a difference in how much she has to eat each month.

Community support makes the 211 Helpline work. If you’d like to read more about Aloha United Way and our work, please visit:


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