211 Miami, a program of Jewish Community Services of South Florida, Inc. is a confidential helpline that connects people in need to community resources available in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. 211 Miami has an extensive database of over 4,000 programs and resources for social service assistance addressing food insecurity, legal help, homeless shelters, and financial assistance programs. 211 Miami also provides emotional support and crisis counseling to clients in emotional distress, available 24/7 in English, Spanish, and Creole. 211 Miami is an integral part of the crisis centers network that assist with calls for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and is the number one crisis center in the nation answering Spanish Lifeline calls.
History of 211:
Switchboard of Miami started in 1968 to assist community leaders and the general public during the tumultuous times of the Vietnam War. Founded by attorney Steve Greenberg, the Reverend Donald Olson, and Dr. Milt Grossman who recognized the need to provide immediate access during crisis situations, as well as providing community resources. The Temporary Housing Hotline was formed and initially staffed by volunteers. The organization was formally incorporated in 1971 and the 3 founders became the first Board of Directors for Switchboard of Miami. Their insight led to the development of the helpline where people were able to receive help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
In December of 2016, Switchboard of Miami faced closure and the loss of essential community programs. As a result, Jewish Community Services of South Florida assumed operations of the Switchboard of Miami Programs, including the Contact Center and 211 Helpline. As a result, all services remained intact and transitioned seamlessly to JCS, eventually paving the way for the rebranding of the 211 Call Center. 211 Miami continues to offer extensive community resource information and is the only tri-lingual (English, Spanish, Creole) helpline in the country.