The 211 Maine website and help line is serving as a valuable resource to residents affected by the partial federal government shutdown.

It has to be a frustrating time for folks who are either working, without knowing when they will be paid again, or are furloughed. Winter in Maine is tough enough, as it is, without losing part of the money coming into your household. It would offer all sorts of challenges, like how to feed your family, pay to heat your home, and pay for child care.

211 Maine is a non-profit service that acts like a search engine for all things beneficial in the state. By logging onto the website or calling 211, folks can learn about everything from available mental health and substance abuse services in their area, to information about food pantries, available transportation, and even volunteer opportunities.

Furloughed federal employees and government contracts in need of social services, or who just have questions about the availability of public benefits can call 211, or call 1-866-811-5695, or they can text their zip code to 898-211 to get help. In addition, they can contact the Office of Personnel Management for more information.

Remember, the 211 service is not only for federal employees, but is a valuable resource for all Mainers, 365/24/7.