Healthy Waldo County is reminding residents of 2-1-1, Maine’s comprehensive statewide directory of more than 8,000 non-profit health and human services providers. By dialing the toll free number 2-1-1 from any phone (including pay phones, cell phones and TTY), callers are connected to trained call specialists who can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 2-1-1 specialists assist in finding the answers to health and human services questions and locating resources in a quick and easy manner. Those with computer and Internet access can also go online to visit: 211maine.org.

In establishing 2-1-1, Maine joins a growing national movement to standardize the availability of information and referral for these services. Callers can find assistance in matters ranging from basic needs (food, warmth, clothing, shelter) to health care, home care, substance abuse, suicide prevention, elder care and legal matters.

“This service provides so much assistance,” said Vyvyenne Ritchie of Healthy Waldo County, the local Healthy Maine Partnership. “The specialists are highly informed and all calls are confidential. All you may be asked is your ZIP code, so the most local services can be located for you.”

In addition to connecting local residents with providers and services, 2-1-1 provides emergency operations during times of natural and other disasters, including accurate and timely information for preparations, and longer-term referral for follow-up services, if required.

2-1-1 also provides information for community planning and for future matching of resource development and unmet needs.

The website posts updates on current issues including keeping warm, flu season, electricity, and more.