Monday is 2-1-1 Day

Monday is 2-1-1 Day and the United Fund of Warren County is hoping more people will utilize the service.

“2-1-1 is the free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects 97 percent of Pennsylvanians with health and human resources available to help,” United Fund Executive Director Lacey Hanson said. “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,” Hanson said. “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.”

The top five services 2-1-1 was used for in 2018 were electric service payment assistance, VITA programs, rent payment assistant, housing-related information, and gas service payment assistance, according to Hanson.

The program also partners with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and has been activated in response to some emergencies, including the federal government shutdown and natural disasters.

“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,” Hanson said. “The United Fund of Warren County has been providing referral services since 2017. 2-1-1 is a national program, which was launched by United Way in Atlanta over 20 years ago.”