The Help Me Hotline and Help Me Online are both free, confidential services that connects individuals to a wide range of resources and services across 18 counties in Northwest Missouri and Doniphan County in Kansas. This Information and Referral service is the heart of AFL-CIO Community Services' programming.
Oftentimes people needing assistance don’t know where to begin. Some don’t like to ask for help, and others give up because they tire of trying to unsuccessfully locate information they need. To fill this community need, the staff of AFL-CIO Community Services provide a comprehensive referral service designed to assist all segments of the general population through a database of community resources consisting of health and human service providers, nonprofits, educational programs, support and civic groups, and local, city, and county services.
The Help Me Hotline and Help Me Online connect members of the community with the services and agencies they are looking for with one simple phone call or click of the mouse. Staff continuously monitor the database to ensure an accurate, comprehensive list of services available within the community. By providing a one-stop shop, the Help Me Hotline and Help Me Online remove the guesswork, frustration, and time spent matching these individuals with the organization that can best help them.
The comprehensive database is constantly being updated so you’ll always have accurate information. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, by both phone and through this website.
how to connect
Call the Help Me Hotline: Call Specialists are available around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means information is accessible when people need it most. Services are open to all members of the public; there are no limitations, eligibility guidelines, or fees for services provided. By calling 816.364.1131, callers are provided with potential area resources that best fit their specific need. Call Specialists can work with callers to identify issues, discuss potential solutions, and offer reliable resources.
Visit the Help Me Online: In addition to the Help Me Hotline, the agency's resource database can now be accessed by visiting the Help Me Online Resource Guide. This search engine is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in more than 170 languages. And it’s just a click away.
If you cannot find services that meet your needs through Help Me Online, need assistance navigating this extensive web resource, or would like additional guidance concerning any issues your family might be experiencing, please call 816.364.1131 and a Call Specialist will assist you.
united way 2-1-1
Callers with a landline phone can connect with the Help Me Hotline by dialing 2-1-1. This service is provided as a partnership through this agency and the United Way of Greater St Joseph. Common to many United Way agencies throughout the United States, the United Way 2-1-1 service is very similar to the Help Me Hotline. Rather than duplicate services, AFL-CIO Community Services and the United Way of Greater St. Joseph partnered to provide 2-1-1 services through the Help Me Hotline. When local landline callers dial 2-1-1, they are directed to the Help Me Hotline and are provided the same quality of services they would receive from any United Way 2-1-1 office.
The national organization provides this information about its United Way 2-1-1 service:
The United Way 2-1-1 hotline is a free and confidential means to 1) bring help to community members who need it, as well as 2) connect local volunteers to opportunities within the community. Dialing 2-1-1 provides callers with information regarding many different resources in the areas of food, housing, employment, healthcare, counseling and more. Users can also visit 211.org to get a quick listing of available resources online.
The 2-1-1 service is a critical life link in the midst of natural disasters and aids in the provision of emergency relief efforts. It’s easy to get disconnected from the rest of the world in the midst of a community crisis. Providing a simple, easy to remember number for assistance eliminates the frustration of trying to hunt down someone who can help. It also makes it easy for those who want to offer up their services to get in touch with agents who can point them in the right direction.
At 2-1-1, all services are provided anonymously and free of charge. Callers can dial in anytime day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our trained, professional representatives are always standing by to offer support and can effectively connect people with the best-suited resources, reserving 9-1-1 for life and death emergencies.
At its core, Information & Referral (I&R) is the art, science, and practice of bringing people and services together. Help Me Hotline Call Specialists are certified and fully trained to provide service in a non-threatening, non-judgmental manner, while keeping all conversations confidential. Callers are educated regarding their situation and options, enabling them to make better informed decisions.
Information & Referral is an integral part of the overall human services sector, bringing people and services together. Everyone can use and benefit from I&R throughout their lives. The issues, questions and solutions are as diverse as those seeking assistance and span the spectrum of human experience. Independent non-profits, libraries, faith-based organizations, or government agencies at every level can provide the service. I&R may be the main service of an agency or a separate program within a multi-service organization.
Some I&R agencies, like AFL-CIO Community Services, are comprehensive in nature, providing information about all human services within a geographic area; while others are specialized, providing in-depth information about resources for specific population groups such as older adults, children, victims of violence, military relations, or mental health issues.
Accredited I&R service providers are the quickest and most reliable source for connecting people with the community services they need. People needing answers and help often do not know where to begin, so they may not get the assistance they require, or they may waste a lot of time searching through various websites or calling multiple places with mixed results. AFL-CIO Community Services is a member of the National AIRS organization, as well as MAK AIRS, the Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas Chapter of the organization.
While most people access the Help Me Hotline by phone or this site, services are also available via walk-in, email, traditional mail, or through referral from another agency.
Walk-in: 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday
Mail: 1203 N. 6th St, St. Joseph, MO 64501
In 2021 alone, the agency had 21,620 unduplicated contacts, made 6,461 referrals, and advocated on behalf of 2,579 clients.
If you or someone you know could use Help Me Hotline services, contact us today.
The Help Me Hotline database is sponsored by AFL-CIO Community Services Agency and supported by the United Way of Greater St Joseph. Help Me Hotline is a member of AIRS and MAK AIRS and in partnership with United Way of Greater Kansas City and United Way of Greater St Louis.
Contact us to learn more about our inclusion policies and how to be part of our database.