Framingham—Mass211, the Commonwealth’s statewide information and referral service has recently announced a collaboration with Aunt Bertha an online human services resource directory. The collaboration will provide phone support for those searching for services on the Aunt Bertha platforms including Boston Medical Center’s MA Community Resource Directory, Baystate Medical Center’s 413 Cares, and UMass Memorial Health Care & Reliant Medical Group’s Community HELP.
Those searching for food, housing, or other COVID services on any of these online platforms will see a pop-up box with links to COVID-19 services and a link to call Mass 211. This “click-to-call” feature will be incorporated into all three websites.
Mass211 a resource and referral hotline created by the Council of Massachusetts United Ways, operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, in over 150 languages.
2-1-1 was launched by United Way 20 years ago as a free way to connect people to essential local resources. Today, 2-1-1 is available in all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. In Massachusetts, 2-1-1 service is available statewide, in all 14 counties, serving 100% of the state’s population.
People in the Commonwealth can reach a trained information and referral specialist by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone in Massachusetts or can search its online database at Mass211.org. Residents can find resources to meet basic needs like heating or utility assistance, shelter, emergency help, or to find the closest food pantry. They also call for everyday important non-emergency needs, such as developmental screening for a child, home health care for a family member, affordable childcare, job training, or free tax filing support.
According to Jessica Collins, Executive Director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, “We are pleased to collaborate with United Way in providing another layer of resources and support for residents of our region on the 413Cares online platform. By adding Mass2-1-1’s phone-based system, residents of the 413 seeking to speak with someone about services and can reach the Call2Talk resource for behavioral health phone support. This online and over-the-phone safety net is providing a critical resource that people need now during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”
Paul Mina, President & CEO of Mass211 states, “This new partnership will provide consumers more immediate access to accurate information via the Mass211 system 24 hours a day in over 150 languages. In addition, our Call2Talk, mental health and suicide prevention line will be available for emotional support for anyone needing to talk about their feelings of depression, isolation and to offer support through stressful times in their lives.”
As a single point of contact, all three sites efficiently connect people in their regions to critical local services they may need including housing, food and nutrition, healthcare, transportation, early education and more. Now for increased support, individuals can call Mass211 for help with their specific guided search.
Mass2-1-1 Inc. is a subsidiary organization of the United Ways in Massachusetts charged with providing the citizens of the Commonwealth with correct, timely and accurate information the first time they are called or searched. For assistance, residents can search their website at mass211.org or dial 2-1-1 from any phone in Massachusetts to speak will a trained information and referral specialist who can identify their needs and refer them to relevant health or human services in their area.
About Aunt Bertha
Aunt Bertha’s mission is to connect all people in need and the programs that serve them with dignity and ease. It’s the largest network of free and reduced-cost social assistance in every ZIP Code across the US, including federal, state, county, municipal, and local programs in the biggest cities and smallest towns. When the company started out in 2010, it defined a new way for people to access social services that empowered them to own their search. Users simply enter their ZIP Code into the platform, unlocking a wide breadth of free and reduced-cost assistance in their community, such as food, housing, financial and legal help, health services, and more. For more information, visit. https://company.auntbertha.com/