FRAMINGHAM, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — In an effort to raise awareness about an important service available to Massachusetts residents, Governor Deval Patrick today declared February 11, 2011 as Mass 2-1-1 Day. The Patrick-Murray Administration today also announced a new Veterans’ services program offered through the 2-1-1 hotline in partnership with the United Way Chapters of Massachusetts.
During an event at the 2-1-1 headquarters in Framingham, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined Department of Veterans Services (DVS) Secretary Coleman Nee and partners of the United Way Chapters of Massachusetts to announce that information on resources and services available to Veterans can now be accessed by dialing 2-1-1.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration values the continued partnership with the United Way Chapters of Massachusetts to provide this free, 24/7 resource to families and individuals in every community of the Commonwealth, and we look forward to the expanded service to support Massachusetts Veterans and their families,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans Services.
“We are proud to partner with Mass 2-1-1 to provide our Veterans and their families with increased access to benefits, resources, care and services that they have earned through their service to our Nation,” said Secretary Nee. “Massachusetts is a national leader in Veterans’ services and, as a Commonwealth, we are constantly searching for new communications vehicles to highlight and provide interactive access points to those services that help in areas including housing, healthcare, financial assistance, education, workforce development and counseling.”
Throughout the past three years, Mass 2-1-1 has partnered with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Public Health, and the Executive Office of Health & Human Services to provide the citizens of the Commonwealth with an easy to remember 3-digit number that connects those who need help with those who can help. The new partnership with DVS will provide the more than 400,000 Veterans and their families living in Massachusetts with an additional resource to access the benefits and services available to them, including financial assistance, education benefits, workforce development, housing programs and outreach services.
“We are so pleased that the Governor has declared February 11, 2011 as a special day to draw attention to this worthwhile service that everyone can benefit from,” said Paul L. Mina, Executive Director of Mass2-1-1. “Since it’s inception in July of 2006, Mass2-1-1 has answered over 201,000 calls. Callers need help with hundreds of issues and problems, but the majority of callers need help with rental assistance, utility assistance, housing/shelter, food/ hunger and emergency information during weather events or times of crisis.”
2-1-1 has developed the state’s most comprehensive database of human service resources. The collection of demographic data and caller issues provides another valuable resource by presenting an overview of the problems facing Massachusetts residents. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has designated Mass 2-1-1 as the Commonwealth’s primary telephone information call center during times of emergency. This important partnership affords citizens the opportunity to access vital, up-to-date disaster information, numerous post-disaster programs, interpreter services, and tracking of caller locations, greatly reducing the number of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1.
To learn more about Mass 2-1-1, visit www.mass211.org or find help online by visiting: www.mass211help.org. This website features user friendly searches by name, agency, keyword, and location – all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are unable to contact by dialing 2-1-1, or are calling from out of state, please call 1-877-211-MASS (6277).