2-1-1 Maine, through support from the United Ways of Maine and the State of Maine, is making it easier for Maine residents to find and access basic needs assistance and other services and supports by adding text capability.

Mainers can now text their zip code to “898-211” (TXT-211) and automatically connect with a friendly Maine-based Information Specialist. The Specialist will ask the person texting what services they are looking for and provide them information and referrals via text to supports in their area.

2-1-1 Maine is a free and confidential service that helps people find local resources they need. Since 2006, Mainers have been able to find health and human services in their area by contacting 2-1-1 Maine.

“Last year, 2-1-1 helped 5,200 people in Eastern Maine,” said United Way of Eastern Maine president Shirar Patterson. “2-1-1 is integral to combating issues like substance abuse and food insecurity in Maine and we are thrilled to expand the program and its benefits.”

Every day, Information Specialists help people find assistance for issues such as financial problems, substance use disorders, support needs for older adults, as well as healthcare and legal services,” said Barb Wentworth, 2-1-1 Maine Board of Directors President. “While some things can be found using an internet search, there are many times when people need more than that; they need a conversation. At United Way, we believe a comprehensive approach to health is needed to help people begin and sustain healthy lives. Through partnerships with the State and our community partners, we are able to support services like 2-1-1 Maine that connect people to information for services that will assist them to increase independence.”

Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by texting a zip code to 898-211 or by dialing 2-1-1. 2-1-1 Maine follows other 2-1-1 centers nationally who implemented a text function to their service and have seen an increase in overall utilization.

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