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Vermont 211 is planning to reduce its service starting next month

A photo of a landline phone on a desk with a headset sitting leaning against it
Kunakorn Rassadornyindee/Getty Images
Starting in July, Vermont 211 will reduce its hours to 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Vermont 211 announced Friday that they will no longer offer their 24/7 service, reducing their hours to 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The organization provides information and referrals, as well as emergency services to folks in need of health and housing resources.

They partner with United Ways of Vermont, a nonprofit working to bring education and economic and health resources to communities across the state.

The call line hour reductions were caused by budgetary measures, according to Elizabeth Gilman, the executive director of United Ways of Vermont.

Vermont 211 contracts with the Agency of Human Services, and per the fiscal year 2024 budget, Vermont 211 is only allocated enough funds for the new time frame.

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While Vermont 211 works with Vermonters experiencing a variety of crises and difficult situations, Gilman says those experiencing homelessness will be the most affected.

“With these new hours, we will be assisting folks up until 11 p.m. And then after that folks will not be able to access those emergency housing services until economic services opens the following business day,” Gilman said.

Vermont 211 helps connect those experiencing homelessness with the state’s motel housing program, which recently evicted hundreds of people. Lawmakers and the governor arein the process of extending the program for over 1,000 families.

Gilman is hopeful the reduced 211 hours will not affect too many folks in need. Under previous 24/7 operations, Vermont 211 did not serve nearly as many people overnight as they did during the day.

“We do see most folks are calling us before 11 p.m.,” she said.

The change to Vermont 211 services will take effect July 1, but Gilman hopes it will not be permanent.

“Our goal is certainly to get back to 24 hours, that absolutely might happen this year,” she said. “But we're kind of in a situation of waiting to see.”

Vermont 211 has provided 24/7 services since 2006, with only brief interruptions in 2019 due to budgetary measures. Anyone can access those services by dialing 211 from anywhere in the state.

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