Allentown, PA, February 8, 2019 – Monday, February 11 is PA 2-1-1 Day. This is a day to celebrate all of the life-changing ways United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline services the residents of Pennsylvania, and to encourage more to utilize the service available to them.
2-1-1 is the free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects 97 percent of Pennsylvanians with all the health and human services available to help. In 2018, over 199,000 Pennsylvanians turned to 2-1-1 for help.
“People reached out to 2-1-1 to find information on basic needs, like heating or utility assistance, eldercare or to find the closest food bank,” said David Lewis, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley President. “But they also called for everyday information like where to take their child for developmental screening, or how to locate job training or how to schedule free tax filing support.”
In 2018, the top five needs 2-1-1 connected Pennsylvanians with included electric service payment assistance, VITA programs, rent payment assistance, housing-related information, and gas service payment assistance. 2-1-1 also partners with PEMA and has been activated in times of emergencies, such as the federal government shutdown and during natural disasters, to assist residents in need.
2-1-1 information and referral specialists are trained to listen, assess the situation, ask the appropriate questions, and then refer the caller directly to the human services that will comprehensively address their needs. The 2-1-1 specialist explains how to access those services, availing a translation service for over 170 different languages, if needed.
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has been providing referral services since 2008. 2-1-1 is a national program, which was launched by United Way in Atlanta over 20 years ago. The user-friendly, three-digit 2-1-1 number now serves more than 283 million Americans—more than 90% of our population—in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
Here are just two examples of why residents should call 2-1-1 for help:
- 2-1-1 referrals assist seniors and those unable to leave the home easily with home modifications, meals, legal aid, transportation, and utility assistance that can help them remain independent. In 2018, 7,138 seniors age 60-85 in Pennsylvania, were provided basic needs assistance through 2-1-1 referrals, keeping them healthy and self-sufficient.
- The 2-1-1 database has numerous resources throughout the state, both private and public, to which addicted persons or family members can be connected. This includes support groups, as well as, treatment options. Only one out of eight addicted persons in Pennsylvania receive needed services to fight their addiction. 2-1-1 resource navigators are trained in active listening to help those battling addiction.
United Ways have been long-standing supporters and the national leader of the 2-1-1 movement in partnership with AIRS (Alliance of Information and Referral Services). As the largest private funder of the 2-1-1 network in Pennsylvania, United Ways continue to strengthen and support 2-1-1 as another way to build stronger communities and create opportunities for all.
Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community. We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley. www.UnitedWayGLV.org
About 2-1-1 in Pennsylvania
2-1-1 is a health and human services referral line that has been established nationwide for the past 20 years. Last year, more than 200,000 Pennsylvanians contacted PA 2-1-1 for help on a range of issues. These are veterans, victims of drug and alcohol addiction, seniors, and job seekers, among many others. Currently, PA 2-1-1 receives a majority of its funding from the Pennsylvania United Way network, but also receives investments from state government and private entities. 2-1-1 strives to have a public-private partnership for information and referral via all communication channels.
Information provided to TVL by:
Director, Marketing and Design
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Celebrating 100 years of service to the Lehigh Valley.
1110 American Parkway NE Suite F-120 Allentown, PA 18109