Immigrants, new Americans and non-English speakers in Maryland now have a one-stop, 24/7 resource for reporting hate crimes.
The state's 2-1-1 line, which supports more than 150 languages, will now be available as a one-stop shop for people to report hate crimes and other incidents, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced today.
About 19 percent of Marylanders speak a language other than English at home, and about 15 percent of Marylanders were born outside the U.S., according to the 2020 Census estimates.
The 211 line, under the theme of "Stop Hate," builds on Hogan's efforts last year to combat hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Non-English speakers can now dial 2-1-1 and access help in more than 150 languages, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Callers can choose Spanish by pressing 5; for all other languages, they can just wait for the phone to be picked up and say their preferred language in English. They will then be connected to translators who work with 211 specialists trained in cultural competency to direct the caller to the appropriate services.
211 Maryland said the most-used languages they get after English are Spanish, Mandarin, Amharic, French, Vietnamese, Korean, Arabic, Haitian Creole and Nepali.
Resources are also available at 211md.org to file a report in multiple languages, with translations available for the top 10 languages spoken in Maryland. Residents can also text MDStopHate to 898211.
The initiative is a partnership between the state's Office of Immigrant Affairs and 211 Maryland. The Office of Immigrant Affairs has a guide on how hate crimes differ from other incidents.
Hogan said in a statement:
This new partnership with 211 Maryland is an important collaboration to overcome language barriers in serving everyone who calls Maryland home and who works to make great contributions to our state. It will further expand our outreach and resources to make it easier to report hate crimes and connect victims with services. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to help provide additional support for those who are affected by these heinous crimes.