About Us

The Institute for Human Services (IHS) was established in 1984, with Helpline as one of its primary programs -- connecting people with available services through information and referral.

The 2-1-1 telephone number was assigned by the Federal Communications Commission in 2000, for easier access to community-based services nationwide.

IHS was designated in 2007 to provide 2-1-1 access to information and referral for Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Allegany and Yates Counties. The designation recognized HELPLINE's presence in the region and the infrastructure already in place (database, call center, website). The Finger Lakes Collaborative includes Goodwill of the Finger Lakes (2-1-1/Life Line) and the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County (2-1-1 Tompkins/Cortland).

2-1-1 officially launched in our region on February 11, 2008, and has operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week since then.

2-1-1 HELPLINE is supported by Steuben and Chemung County Departments of Social Services, United Way of the Southern Tier, Allegany County United Way, NYS Office of Children and Families, IHS Member Agencies, Steuben Rural Health Network and contract income.

Volunteer center services have been supported by the United Way of the Southern Tier since 2010.

We provide a comprehensive information service that is designed to assist all segments of the general population to more easily access health and human services and volunteer opportunities. 2-1-1 HELPLINE manages a database of community resources consisting of health and human service providers, non-profits, educational programs, support groups, and local, city and county services for a five-county area. Contact us by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-800-346-2211) to learn more about our inclusion policies and how to be part of our database.

Through specialized software, information is updated on a regular basis and indexed according to the AIRS Taxonomy. The comprehensive database is essential in order to provide telephone service, this searchable website, and printed resource directories.

Each service is also geographically indexed to improve the usefulness of the results.

Our organization is a member of the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS) and of the state affiliate New York State AIRS. We follow standards established for the profession by AIRS. We also support initiatives through 2-1-1 New York that promote information & referral statewide.

Additional IHS information and referral resources include:

  • Steuben Coordinated Transportation
  • Provider Weekly community resources newsletter
  • Affordable Care Act Navigator scheduling
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance appointment scheduling
  • Analysis of calls, unmet needs, service gaps
  • Interagency planning support
  • Developmental Disabilities microsite
  • Teen Helpline microsite
  • Dissemination of information via Twitter
  • Disaster Resource Guide template & as-needed production

Contact us for more information.