Letter: Call 2-1-1 for help with community services

Posted

To the editor:

Every day, someone here in the Berkshires needs to find essential community services — child care, housing, a place to get food, or where to secure care for an aging parent. While many of our neighbors face these challenges, they don't always know where to turn for help.

Mass 2-1-1, funded in part by Berkshire United Way, is your one-stop connection to the services you need. What happens when you call 2-1-1? Your free, confidential, call is routed to a trained information and referral specialist, who helps identify your needs, then refers you to relevant human services, health or education resources from a comprehensive database. Callers can also access the mental health/suicide prevention hotline known as Call2Talk if they are depressed, despondent, or just need someone to listen.

Available 24/7, 365 days a year, the Mass 2-1-1 helpline serves as a safety net for local residents needing help finding assistance by helping improve the effectiveness and coordination of health and human services across the state. Mass 2-1-1 also maintains a searchable online database at mass211.org, which includes a guided search function that makes it easy to navigate the site.

Gov. Baker has declared Monday, Feb. 11, as 2-1-1 Day in Massachusetts, to raise awareness of this valuable resource. I invite you to join me in helping to spread the word.

Jason Ostrander,

Pittsfield

The writer is a Berkshire United Way board member.

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