Joint Resolution to Recognize February as 211 Month
AUGUSTA, Maine—With bipartisan support in the State House and Senate, this February is officially recognized as 211 Month in Maine. 211 Maine is a free, confidential service that connects people all over Maine to needed resources in their area. 211 employs specialists that assist people in finding local services that help them stay healthy, safe, and independent, including heating assistance, mental health resources, food pantries, housing, veterans’ assistance, and more.
Sen. Justin Chenette of Saco and Rep. Harold “Trey” Stewart III of Presque Isle cosponsored the joint resolution recognizing February as 211 Month in the One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Maine Legislature, Second Regular Session.
“211 is a critical resource for Mainers across the state,” shared Sen. Chenette. “It is a gateway of information and assistance no matter your situation. Introducing this resolution is just a step in recognizing and raising awareness for this free service.”
In addition to helping Mainers connect to the spectrum of health and human services, 211 is involved in specific initiatives like the Maine Opiate Helpline. 211 works in partnership with Maine Department of Health and Human Services to provide a toll-free statewide helpline for individuals seeking services for opiate use. By contacting 211, Mainers can connect to the Opiate Helpline and receive confidential information and referrals to treatment options in their area.
“211 Maine provides an invaluable service to people all across Maine. I have personally worked with the organization in an effort to help address the opioid epidemic in Maine, where we need as many tools in our tool belt as possible to make sure folks know where to turn to for help in their area,” stated Rep. Stewart. “I was very pleased to be sponsoring the legislative proclamation recognizing 211 Maine for serving our state and being an invaluable resource for Mainers in crisis.”
Since becoming a statewide service in 2006, 211 Maine has received nearly 700,000 calls. Every month, 211 receives thousands of calls from people in need of referrals. In 2017, the most common reasons individuals contacted 211 Maine were for heating assistance, utilities assistance, mental health services, housing/shelter, and health care.
Specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by texting a zip code to 898-211 or by dialing 211. 211 Maine is a collaborative effort of the United Ways of Maine, the State of Maine, and The Opportunity Alliance as the Contact Center Partner.
Rep. Stewart commented, “Spreading the word about the great work being done by this group to all corners of our state is critically important in making sure folks know they have an ally in their corner in some of the most difficult situations they may be faced with.”
“I highly encourage Maine residents to remember 211 or set it in their phones,” added Sen. Chenette. “You never know when you yourself might be in need.”