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The 411

The 4-1-1 on a number of 1-1 numbers. For those who don’t know, the 411 is  what you need to know for information. Here we go…


Have you ever heard of 9-1-1? I’m sure you have. If there is an emergency, you can dial this simple three-digit number and reach the fire department, police, or an ambulance. Every child learns this access number early in its life.

Ok, so what’s 8-1-1? 811 is the phone number you call before digging to protect yourself and others from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines. There are millions of miles of buried utilities beneath the surface of the earth that are vital to everyday living like water, electricity and natural gas.

How about 7-1-1? Here’s the surprising answer many of us may not know (I didn’t until I started drafting this article). In Canada and the United States, the 711 telephone number is used for the Telecommunications Relay Service to translate from TDD for the deaf to speech, and vice versa. The relay service allows deaf people to converse with the hearing over the phone through an operator.

In addition to being a colloquial expression, 4-1-1 is the directory assistance line when you need to know a number or other such information.


Is there a 3-1-1? There sure is. It is America's highly popular hotline service and is used as a non-emergency phone number that people can call in many cities to find information about services, make complaints, or report problems like graffiti or road damage.

And 2-1-1? This is the one I really want you to know about today. The 2-1-1 is a program of the Texas Health and Human Services

Commission. This Commission is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. Whether by phone or Internet, the goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from state and local health and human services programs. This is accomplished through the work of 25 Area Information Centers (AICs) across the state. 2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, no matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905, and find information about resources in your local community. Whether you need help finding food or housing, child care, crisis counseling or substance abuse treatment, one number is all you need to know. The website is

One function of the church is to support people in getting the help they need in times of crisis.

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