Community Information and Referral Services

Catherine Rea CEO, Community Information and Referral ServicesCarolyn Sechler from Sechler CPA PC co-hosts The Nonprofit Journal Live with Dee Suomala and welcomes Community Information and Referral Services (CIR) CEO Catherine Rea.

CIR was founded in 1964 and incorporated in 1979 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to provide health, human, and community service information and referrals. CIR administers two major programs, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and 2-1-1 Arizona.

HMIS is the data collection system required by HUD and its partners for tracking homeless persons to services nationally. CIR provides the HMIS for Maricopa and Balance of State Continuum of Care’s in Arizona. In the Annual Program Report 2015, CIR’s HMIS team provided support to over 700 users, 80 providers, assisting over 41,000 homeless persons in 14 of 15 Arizona counties.

2-1-1 is the easy to remember three-digit dialing number designated in 2000 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for easy access to information and referrals for health and human services. 2-1-1 benefits include easy access to vital community, health, government, tribal and human service programs, coordination of volunteer needs and opportunities,demographic feedback on trends in needs, services, gaps, and poverty areas, and acts as a support system for emergency 9-1-1 operatives and disaster relief efforts.

CIR was designated in 2011 by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to provide 2-1-1 services for Arizona, and activated 2-1-1 in October 2011, becoming the last state in the nation to do so. In FY 2016 2-1-1 Arizona fulfilled over 1.2 million service requests through the 211 call center, website at, IVR system, and apps. 2-1-1 Arizona maintains a resource database of over 36,000 services available statewide.

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