Find alternatives to calling the police.

Cover photo for alternatives to police in the United States, a list of alternatives to calling the police or 911

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

These resources may be obligated to call police in the case of an immediate risk of harm to the caller or another, child abuse, or abuse of a vulnerable adult. Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement or involve them beyond what is required by law, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.


  • Veterans National Homeless Hotline
    • 24/7 Hotline connecting callers to free services in their area
    • 1 (877) 424-3838


  • Trevor Project
    • Suicide and crisis hotline for LGBTQ+ youth.
    • 1 (866) 488-7386 (24/7)
    • Text START to 678-678
  • Desi LGBTQ Helpline
    • Offers free, confidential, culturally sensitive peer support, information and resources for LGBTQ South Asian individuals, families and friends
    • Thursdays and Sundays, 8 – 10 pm EST
    • Information, resources and referrals for trans+ survivors of domestic, sexual, or hate violence or stalking. Not an immediate assistance hotline – press 9 to leave a confidential message.
    • (414) 559-2123
  • LGBT National Hotline
    • Provides a safe space that is anonymous and confidential where callers can speak on many different issues and concerns including, but limited to, coming out issues, gender and/or sexuality identities, relationship concerns, bullying, workplace issues, HIV/AIDS anxiety, safer sex information, and suicide. Staffed by LGBTQ+ identifying people.
    • 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. PT, Mon. – Fri.; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. PT, Saturday
    • 1 (888) 843-4564
  • GLBT National Youth Talkline
    • 1 (800) 246-7743
  • TransLifeLine
    • A trans-led organization that offers direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community. They have a policy of against non-consensual rescue so will not ever call the police without the caller’s consent.
    • 7 am – 1 p.m. PST/9 am – 3 am CST/10 am – 4 am EST
    • Volunteers may be available during off hours
    • 1 (877) 565-8860

Mental Health

  • ANAD Eating Disorder Helpline
    • Provides national assistance and referrals to local resources. Initial call is an intake and they will return calls with what they’ve found based on the specifics of the caller’s situation, generally within 24 hours.
    • (630) 577-1330
  • Black Mental Health Alliance
    • BMHA offers confidential referrals for those seeking mental health services using its database of culturally-competent and patient-centered mental health practitioners and behavioral health specialists committed to serving Black communities. Persons seeking a therapist will contact BMHA either in person, over the phone or online. BMHA will quickly triage the person making the inquiry make connections that match the need. 
    • (410) 338-2642
  • Blackline
    • A 24-hour hotline geared towards the Black, Black LGBTQI, Brown, Native and Muslim community. Provides people with an anonymous and confidential avenue to report negative, physical, and inappropriate contact with police and vigilantes. Also provides immediate crisis counseling to those who are upset, need to talk with someone immediately, or are in distress. For each location in the country, referrals can be given when/if necessary.
    • 1 (800) 604-5841 (24/7)
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline
    • A confidential, free, 24/7 information service for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. Provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Federally-funded program.
    • 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357) (24/7)
    • TTY: 1 (800) 487-4889
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    • Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals. The number is staffed by service providers throughout the country, and callers will be connected with someone who can give them referrals to local resources.
  • National Disaster Distress Helpline
    • 1 (800) 985-5990

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • Blackline
    • 24/7 Hotline – Blackline provide hope and promote social justice for individuals, families and communities through immediate crisis counseling and collecting information on negative police and vigilante contact in the United States of America through an unapologetic Black, LGBTQ and Black Femme lens. Priority to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
    • 1 (800) 604-5841
  • Love Is Respect National Dating Abuse Hotline
    • 1 (866) 331-9474
    • Text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Deaf Domestic Violence Hotline
    • 24/7 Hotline staffed by Deaf advocates to help people affected by domestic violence who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Hotline interactions are free and confidential.
    • Video Phone: (855) 812-1001
    • Instant Messenger: DeafHotline
    • Email:
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • 24/7 Hotline for those affected by intimate partner or spousal violence. Hotline interactions are free, confidential, and anonymous. Can help to identify abusive behavior, safety plan, and refer callers to local resources.
    • 1 (800) 799- SAFE (7233) (24/7)
    • TTY: 1 (800) 787-3224
  • National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
    • Immediate, confidential assistance for teens and their parents with questions or concerns about dating abuse. Can also access services through online chat. All services are free.
    • 1 (866) 331-9474 (Call or Text)
    • TTY: 1 (800) 787-3224
  • StrongHearts Native Helpline
    • The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a culturally-appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Free, anonymous, and confidential.
    • 1 (844) 762-8483
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline
    • 1 (800) 656-4673


Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Boys and Girls Town National Abuse Hotline
    • 1 (800) 448-3000
  • Children of the Night
    • Skilled Children of the Night Case Managers assist young American sex trafficking victims with 24-hour services 7 days a week. Whether they need rescue from pimps, access to medical services, emergency & non-emergency transportation, mental health services, psychiatric evaluations or access to psychotropic medications, Children of the Night is ready to serve.
    • 1 (800) 551-1300 x 0
  • Emergency Foodline
    • 1 (866) 888-8777
  • National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
    • 1 (866) 331-9474
  • National Runaway Safeline
    • Federally-designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth. Youth and family members connect to crisis services to work through problems and find local help from social service agencies and organizations. Can connect youth with compassion and understanding, food, medical assistance, counseling, as well as transportation home. Also provides preventative services.
    • 1 (800) 786-2929 (24/7)
    • TEXT: 66008
    • Chat service and online forum on site.
  • National US Child Abuse Hotline
    • (800) 422-4453


  • National Center on Elder Abuse
    • 1 (855) 500-3537


  • National Center for Victims of Crime
    • 1 (866) 689-4357
  • Victim Connect Resource Center
    • 1 (855) 484-2846
  • Identity Theft Resource Center
    • 1 (888) 400-5530


  • Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
    • (800) 344-2666
  • Psychedelic Peer Support Line
    • Fireside Project operates the Psychedelic Peer Support Line. A harm reduction service that provides free, confidential support by phone and text message to people during and after their psychedelic experiences. Callers can speak with a peer to unpack or discuss their experience. They would call the police only if there is immediate danger and the caller chooses to provide them with their address. They do not collect or store any personal information about callers.
    • Thursday through Sunday: 3:00 PM –3:00 AM PST Monday: 3:00 PM–7:00 PM PST
    • (623) 473-7433 (6-2FIRESIDE) (Call or Text)
  • National Drug Helpline – By American Addiction Centers
    • 24/7 helpline for people suffering from addiction or their loved ones to guide them to treatment options in their areas. Not government-affiliated or funded. Hotline assistance free for all callers. Further referrals will focus on AAC services which have costs associated.
    • 1 (844) 289-0879 (24/7)
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline
    • A confidential, free, 24/7 information service for individuals and family members facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. Provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Federally-funded program.
    • 1 (800) 662-HELP (4357) (24/7)
    • TTY: 1 (800) 487-4889

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the police or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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