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MASS 2-1-1


Mass 2-1-1 is an information and referral database and hotline for access to health and human services. Consumers now need to know just one number when searching for resources in their community, and that number is 2-1-1. It is free, confidential, available 24/7 and multi-lingual translations are available.      2-1-1 can help consumers find any range of health and human services, including but not limited to: food pantries, thrift shops, assisted living, health care, legal assistance, housing assistance or financial assistance. When a consumer dials 2-1-1, they are led to a live operator who will direct them to the appropriate resources for their needs. 2-1-1 is a critical number to know as the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has designated it as the official point of contact for receiving emergency information during a time of crisis. If a hurricane threatens to displace people from their homes, 2-1-1 can provide them with a list of shelters in the area.

Since September 2009, The Barnstable County Department of Human Services has been working collaboratively with the Cape and Islands United Way and the Community Health Network Area (CHNA) to support, build, and promote the Mass 2-1-1 resource locator system throughout Cape Cod and the Islands. The Department of Human Services has received support on this project through the placement of a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA and with funding for a part time coordinator from the CHNA. The Cape and Islands United Way has generously supported the Department’s promotion of Mass 2-1-1 through the provision of marketing materials, and through granting opportunities for community engagement.  Kathleen Seymour, Americorps VISTA and Ronnie Gullette, 2-1-1 Coordination for the Department of Human Services, along with the Cape and Islands United Way, have reached out to consumers and providers on Cape Cod through radio, television, internet, and print media communications, combined with specialized training presentations.

For providers, 2-1-1 is an excellent resource for gathering information about what other agencies and organizations serve their community. Providers can search for organizations by keyword or topic on the Mass 2-1-1 database, and then can make directories of the results. The directories can be indexed by provider, service, or topic, and can be modified or edited at any time. They can be saved, printed, and e-mailed for collaboration with colleagues or easy reference.

In order to be eligible to be included in the Mass 2-1-1 system, a provider must meet the criteria stated within the inclusion/exclusion policy. Generally, agencies listed must be non-profit (501c3) organizations. For-profit organizations are also eligible if they provide services comparable to a non-profit if a non-profit does not provide those services within the area, or if they provide services at a reduced cost/ sliding scale fee for those in need. Mass 2-1-1 is financially supported by 19 local chapters of United Way, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. For further information, and to utilize the Mass 2-1-1 database, please go to