About First Call For Help

First Call for Help of Itasca County is a private, nonprofit community organization whose mission is to provide free, confidential and nonjudgmental crisis intervention, active listening, and information and referral services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to the residents and agencies of North Central Minnesota. 

Available 24/7 To Answer Your Call

Never Judgemental, Always Confidential

Trained Staff Who Care

Our History

The agency was started in 1974 as Nightingale and operated in a limited Crisis Intervention and Active Listening service in Itasca County during the evening hours through the local hospital. During the first year 1,332 calls were received.

In 1976 the agency added an Information & Referral component. This allowed all residents access to free information. To date we still have the most comprehensive and up-to-date database on services available to residents. The agency began providing services 24 hours a day/365 days a year, also providing after-hour coverage for many human service and community agencies (such as Salvation Army, Crisis Response Team, Itasca County Human Services, Advocates For Family Peace, Itasca Alliance Against Sexual Assault and many more).

In 1988 the agency filed for non-profit status and received its 501(c)3. We also changed the name to First Call For Help. First Call For Help is a nation-wide United Way funded name and logo.

In 1999, we became one of the 5 regional hubs in the state, providing information and referral 24/7 for the counties of Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Itasca, Koochiching and Lake of the Woods. First Call/2-1-1 remains unique in that it is still the only region in the state that operates 24-hours a day with the help of volunteers answering calls out of the own homes.

First Call 211's main overall purpose and our mission is to provide free, confidential and non-judgmental active listening, information and referral and crisis intervention 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all residents of North Central Minnesota. We are very aware that crisis does not just occur during business hours and that is why we are here 24/7.

Our Leadership

Cre Larson

Executive Director


Data Maintenance Coordinator


I&R Staff and Media Coordinator

Board Members

Tom G.

Board Co-Chair

Jason A.

Board Dev. Committee

Isaac M.

Finance Committee

Connie H.

Board Dev. Committee