The Maine Legislature voted to recognize February 2024 as 211 Maine Month with bipartisan support. Finding help for complex needs like shelter, food access, substance use, and mental health can be hard for many Mainers. Fortunately, there is a Maine-based resource that can help.

The Joint Resolution recognizing 211 Maine Month was cosponsored by Sen. Trey Stewart (R-Aroostook) and Rep. Lori Gramlich (D-Old Orchard Beach).

“Since 2006, 211 Maine has proven to be a critical resource,” said Sen. Stewart. “In addition to its regular functions, 211 Maine assisted the people of Maine during the tragic Lewiston shooting to find help and again during the December windstorms to help our communities report damages. I am proud to sponsor this Joint Resolution to recognize the program.”

“I am honored to cosponsor the 211 Maine Month resolution again this year,” shared Rep. Gramlich. “This program demonstrates how government, nonprofit, and private sectors can efficiently work together to improve the lives of Mainers.”

211 Specialists answered over 77,000 calls, texts, and emails in 2023. The most common needs identified through referrals included: heating and utility assistance, housing and shelter, mental health, and substance use resources.

“We hear from our neighbors and community partners how hard it can be for people to find help,” said Shirar Patterson, 211 Maine Board of Directors President and President/CEO of Heart of Maine United Way. “It’s crucial to have a program like 211 Maine available and accessible for all Mainers.”

211 Specialists are based in Maine and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by texting a Maine zip code to 898-211 or by dialing 211. 211 Maine is served by a telephone interpreter service. Anyone can dial 211, press 6, say the preferred language, and a specialist will connect to an interpreter on the call.

In addition to helping Mainers find resources across the spectrum of health and human services, 211 continues its involvement in specific initiatives, including the State’s Help Me Grow system that helps families with children birth to eight get connected to needed behavioral health or educational services. Other programs include serving as Maine’s Opiate Helpline, Problem Gambling Helpline, answering questions about browntail moth caterpillars and COVID-19, and more.

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.