Skip to main content

NJ 211 Newsletter - Winter 2024

NJ 211 Unveils Upgraded Website for Annual '211 Day'

group with proclamation

Pictured: Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, Assemblywoman Shama Haider, Senator Gordon Johnson, NJ 211 Chief Operating Officer Kevin Donahue, NJ 211 Chief Executive Officer Melissa Acree, DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer, DCF First Deputy Commissioner Katherine Stoehr, Senator Anthony Bucco attend NJ 211’s Open House. Rikki Massand

Fittingly, on the day of its annual celebration,  NJ 211 proudly unveiled the all-new and upgraded website, marking a significant milestone in its mission to bridge the gap between assistance seekers and vital resources. Generously funded by the NJ Department of Children and Families, this transformative development directly responds to the obstacle hindering access to crucial services: a lack of awareness about available support.

The need for this upgrade became evident through a comprehensive needs assessment conducted by the NJ Department of Children and Families in collaboration with the state's 21 Human Services Advisory Councils. This assessment shed light on the pervasive issue of residents being unaware of the helpful services at their disposal.

“NJ 211 has provided an invaluable service to our state for years,” DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer said. “Whether information is being sought by a professional such as a school counselor, nurse or clergy person seeking a resource to help someone they are working with, or by the person themselves looking for information and support, a knowledgeable and compassionate NJ 211 staff member is always ready to assist residents to navigate the helping resources available to them. Improving the NJ 211 website means residents can access the assistance they need, when and where they need it.” The redesigned is now user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and incorporates advanced technology to streamline the search process, ultimately simplifying the journey to finding and accessing essential resources for all New Jerseyans.

In recognition of NJ 211's impact and dedication, Governor Murphy declared February 11 as "211 Day" in New Jersey, highlighting the 22-year partnership with NJ 211, a nonprofit organization delivering statewide 211 Services. The State Senate and General Assembly also joined the celebration, expressing admiration for NJ 211's steadfast commitment to community service.

The website launch was celebrated with an Open House, underscoring NJ 211's dedication to continuous improvement and accessibility. Governor Murphy's proclamation aligns with a one-year public awareness campaign aimed at informing residents about NJ 211's information and referral services and encouraging nonprofits and community organizations to get listed in their comprehensive database.

Expressing gratitude for the Department of Children and Families' investment in the 211 Service, NJ 211 Chief Executive Officer Melissa Acree noted, "Our enhanced website will make it easier than ever for our residents to find local community and government programs that can help."

To access the services, residents can call 211, text their zip code to 898-211, or visit The services provided are free, confidential, and available in multiple languages. As we celebrate "211 Day," let us also celebrate the renewed commitment to ensuring no one in need is unaware of the help available. NJ 211 is the trusted starting point for those seeking assistance, embodying a commitment to a more connected and supported community.

Watch the Open House celebration!

The Impact of In-Person Engagement

staff at ourdoor event

Members of our homeless hotline team participated in Morris County's Hope Hub Community Day

woman helping student at college event

Wilda Traverso, HR Generalist, attends Bloomfield College Career Fair

In a world that often seems dominated by virtual connections, the power of in-person engagement cannot be overstated. At NJ 211, while our in-person outreach team may be small, our commitment to building meaningful connections within communities across New Jersey is unwavering. Being part of a community goes beyond the digital realm; it's about stepping into the neighborhoods of our fellow New Jerseyans. Our team thrives on engaging directly with residents, listening to their unique situations, providing assistance, and discovering new resources that can make a difference.

During a recent in-person event, NJ 211 staff witnessed the profound impact of their work when they met a man who faced eviction over the summer. With nowhere to turn, he planned to stay in the woods behind his apartment. A compassionate neighbor suggested calling 211, and the man's life took a hopeful turn. Swiftly responding to his call, NJ 211 provided resources and support, preventing him from becoming homeless. His heartfelt words, "Because of 211, I never had to spend a night on the street," resonate as a testament to the organization's commitment to being a beacon of hope in times of crisis.

At NJ 211, we believe that building a sense of community is a collaborative effort. By engaging with us in person, through emails, or by sharing resources, you become an integral part of a network that strives to uplift and support our fellow New Jerseyans. Join us in making a difference, one connection at a time.

To further strengthen these connections, we encourage you to inform us of ongoing outreach events in your local community by emailing us at Additionally, if you're interested in sharing valuable information with your clients, visit our media page  to download or request 211 panel cards or pamphlets. Once we receive your request, we'll mail or drop off materials for distribution.

Tax Assistance

woman helping person with taxes

Tax season can be overwhelming, especially for those with limited resources. However, New Jersey residents have a valuable ally in NJ 211, offering a streamlined approach to accessing FREE tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Navigating the NJ 211 website provides a comprehensive list of tax assistance sites across the state. Whether you prefer the convenience of virtual assistance, the flexibility of drop-off services, or the personal touch of in-person help, there are resources available.

To kickstart your journey, simply visit the NJ 211 Free Tax Assistance Locations webpage. Explore the available locations and choose the one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that some sites may require appointments, so plan accordingly.

With the VITA program, tax season becomes more manageable for individuals and families in need. Take advantage of this valuable resource to ensure you're on the right track to financial well-being.

Text this page to someone: