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211 Answers, Please!

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Health and Human Social Service Provider Criteria

Answers, Please! specializes in referrals that meet essential health and human needs for food, shelter, financial assistance, and healthcare. Please note that the submission is only a request to offer health and human social services to DC residents, not to apply as a DC government contractor or bidder. Answers, Please! does not automatically accept all submissions.  Find  more information about the provider eligibility requirements.

Program Preferences

If the resource directory expands to include too many resources for the maximum productivity of Community Resource Advisors (CRA), Answers, Please! will choose to keep the following programs on the list:

  • Programs that provide health and human services considered to be the most essential to the residents of the District of Columbia
  • Programs located within the District of Columbia

Customer Referrals

Answers, Please! does not choose, promote, or endorse certain programs or organizations for its customers. Community Resource Advisors (CRAs) educate callers about the all services in the community that meet previously identified customer specifications and needs. CRAs provide relevant information about locations, services provided, fees, languages spoken, and accessibility to help callers make informed decisions.

List Quality & Accuracy

Answers, Please! makes every effort to ensure that customers are informed of appropriate and quality health and human services to meet their identified needs. However, Answers, Please! is not liable for organizations or programs contained in the resource directory that provide faulty services. If customers file a complaint about any organization contained in the resource file,Answers, Please! will take the following action:

  • Inform the caller of the appropriate organization, other than Answers, Please!, that may provide assistance in handling the complaint.
  • Note the complaint, and, if a significant number of similar and serious complaints are received about an organization, Answers, Please! may remove the listing from the resource file. Prior to removing any listings from the resource file, the Resource Specialist investigates the complaint using the methods described in the section below entitled "Fraud and Questionable Practices".
  • Answers, Please! may also inform the organization for which the complaints were received of the nature of the complaints. All complaints remain anonymous. However, Answers, Please! holds no responsibility for ensuring that organizations respond to or remedy complaints.

Controversial Organizations

Some organizations provide services or promote issues that may be controversial in nature. Information about an organization's policies, views, or issues which assist potential consumers in selecting a service should be included in that organization's description in the resource file. This may include religious observances that are required in order to obtain services or the organization's points of view on issues.

Whenever possible, the resource file includes organizations which represent a variety of points of view on any given issue in order to provide callers with a choice of options.

Fraud or Questionable Practices

Answers, Please! will not refer customers to organizations that may be defrauding the public, violating laws, or engaging in questionable fundraising or administrative practices. If there is a question of the legitimacy of any organization, Answers, Please! may decide to include or exclude an organization based on information obtained from the following sources:

  • DC Department of Commerce & Regulatory Affairs
  • Metropolitan Washington Better Business Bureau
  • Appropriate licensing body (if licensure is required for that type of organization)
  • Conversation with or site visit to the organization in question
  • Other organizations in theAnswers, Please! resource list which provide similar services


Essential Health and Human Services

Essential human services meet basic health and human needs including (but are not limited to) health, educational, social, recreational, and legal or consumer protection services.


Organization refers to the governing body that oversees the program. An organization may also be considered an agency. One organization may operate several programs.


The program refers to the specific organizational structure that provides direct services.

Resource Directory or File

The resource directory or file is the registry of all social service listings from which the Community Resource Advisors (CRAs) refer customers.