211 Maine and the United Ways of Maine are pleased to announce the launch of a redesigned website, 211Maine.org. Finding help for complex needs like shelter, substance use, mental health, or food access can be challenging. Fortunately, 211 Maine is available to all Mainers, and now accessible through a new, user friendly website enabling visitors to initiate a search for help, day or night.

211 Maine is a free, confidential resource for people of all ages to access local health and human services information. People can find help in their area by dialing 211 and talking with a trained and friendly specialist, by texting their zip code to 898-211, or by searching the now improved online directory at 211Maine.org.

“Sometimes finding the right resources can be overwhelming,” said Liz Cotter Schlax, United Way of Greater Portland president and CEO and president of the 211 Maine board of directors. “The new 211 Maine website will improve access to community-based resources and programs by making it easier for people to find the services they need when they need them.” 

The new design prioritizes the user. The changes improve the search experience with features such as pre-populated search buttons and filtering options. Search results can now be filtered based on key factors like insurance level or veteran status. While the look and feel of the search have changed, the same statewide information about health and human services is available.

“While 211 Specialists are available here in Maine any time of day or night to talk or text with people, not everyone is willing to start their search for help by asking someone,” shared Nikki Busmanis, 211 Maine program manager. “Many people want to begin looking on their own online and searching the 211 website.”

Since 2006 when 211 Maine became a statewide service, over 800,000 calls for assistance have been received. 211 fields thousands of calls every month from people looking for help for themselves or someone they know. In collaboration with the State of Maine, 211 Maine became a primary source of information for COVID-19 in March, tripling the number of incoming calls. 

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.

The website redesign was possible due to an anonymous fund at the Maine Community Foundation.