CHICAGO — The city and county have jointly launched a new, free resource for individuals who need health or social services support: 211 Metro Chicago.

Now available via phone, text, or web chat, 211 Metro Chicago is a database search for all Cook County residents.

The program is completely free with a purpose to connect residents of Cook County with a variety of resources such as food, housing, utility payment assistance and other free to low-cost health and social services. The resource categories include:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Utility Assistance
  • Child Care
  • Disability Services
  • Senior Services
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Health Care
  • Immigration
  • Legal Assistance
  • Substance Use
  • Tax Preparation
  • Transportation
  • Veteran Services
  • Youth Programs

A kick-off event was held Friday with remarks from United Way of Metro Chicago President & CEO Sean Garrett, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, among others.

People on the other side of the 211 line speak both English and Spanish. Organizers say in the near future, they hope to add more languages as well.

From the press release:

Visit to learn more, or to be connected with resources via web chat and web search. Dial 2-1-1 to speak with a local Resource Navigator on the phone. To connect with 211 Metro Chicago via text message, text your zip code to 898211.

The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be accessed online as well. This number does not replace others like 9-1-1 or 3-11.