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Jill Michal

By Jill Michal

Do you need help? Dial 2-1-1

Mon, February 11, 2013

United Way 211

Every hour of every day, people in our communities need access to essential health and human services, regardless of income. Navigating the nonprofit landscape and a host of government services can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. 2-1-1 is the right place to start. Today, United Ways throughout southeastern Pennsylvania joined forces to launch 2-1-1, a free, confidential, easy-to-remember phone number that connects residents of the five-county Greater Philadelphia area with important health and human services in their communities.

Callers can reach a trained specialist seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or search for a service online 24 hours a day at www.211sepa.org. Whether you know exactly the type of service to request, or are unsure where to start, 2-1-1 specialists can hone in on the problem and make a quick and effective connection to one of the thousands of local organizations in the region. The result? More people more effectively finding the help they need.

2-1-1 is for the young mother in Mount Airy who needs to find quality childcare for the first time. And for the mother in Chester County who knows her teen son needs a mentor. It’s for the Chester City man who needs to build new skills to find work that pays a family-sustaining wage. And the married couple in Harleysville in search of in-home healthcare for an aging parent. It’s for the Bensalem family that needs a place to stay after a fire took their home. 2-1-1 is the resource that can help in all of these circumstances, and more.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, 2-1-1 is one of seven regional call centers within the statewide PA 2-1-1 system. In New Jersey, 2-1-1 has been assisting callers for years. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, NJ 2-1-1 fielded more than 80,000 calls to help connect residents to the services they needed to get back on their feet. For more on NJ 2-1-1 resources, visit www.nj211.org.

At United Way, we’re focused on ensuring that people have access to the resources they need right now while also addressing the root causes of some of our communities’ most persistent challenges. We know that 2-1-1 will help to meet the needs of many of our neighbors, and we’re proud that it’s powered by your United Way.