Venango County Celebrates PA 2-1-1 Day

| February 12, 2019

RENO, Pa. – United Way of Venango County and PA 2-1-1 Northwest stood united on Monday to recognize February 11 as PA 2-1-1 Day.

2-1-1 is the free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that currently connects 97 percent of Pennsylvanians with all of the health and human services available to help them.

Over 202,000 people turned to 2-1-1 in Pennsylvania for help in 2018. In Venango County, it has impacted over 3,000 residents’ lives.

“For more than two years, PA 2-1-1 has been available here in Venango County. We launched this program in May of 2017, and then growing the program to 24 hours a day, 7 days week in August on 2017,” said Will Price, Executive Director of United Way of Venango County.

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 specialists also explain how to access those services, utilizing a translation service for over 170 different languages, if needed.

“2-1-1 is very powerful for not just the residents of Venango, but for the programming in Venango County,” Price noted. “In 2018, there were 3,042 contacts made to the Northwest contact center for Venango County residents.”

According to Price, 63% of all calls were females, and 37% were male callers. The biggest age group of individuals that using 2-1-1 were the 25 to 34 years of age at 25% of all calls.

People can contact 2-1-1 to find information on basic needs, such as utility assistance or to find the closest food bank. However, 2-1-1 also provides callers with everyday information such as where to take their child for developmental screening, or how to locate job training.

PA 2-1-1 partnered with Community Services of Venango County with their Spirit of Giving and Friends for Food programs in 2018. Future project partnerships for 2019 will be with Community Services of Venango County, the Salvation Army Dental Center, and the area school districts.

“Working with Northwest PA 2-1-1 with our Spirit of Giving Christmas Program provided our families the opportunity to register for Christmas help during and after our business hours, all at our families’ convenience. The follow-up texts to remind families of our distribution was amazing and was instrumental in our having the highest distribution day turnout for our Spirit of Giving. We look forward to using this service again next year and in other programs,” said Community Services Director Mary Jeanne.

“As we celebrate the impacted that 2-1-1 has had on Venango County, we keep planning for the future. Health starts where we live, go to school, work, and play. The strength of the PA 2-1-1 Northwest and United Way of Venango County partnership is authentic local connections to resources in communities across our County. We want to make that information available to help our residents whenever they come into a crisis and they don’t know where to turn to,” explained Price.

To reach PA 2-1-1, dial 2-1-1 from your phone or text your zip code to 898-211.

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Category: Community, Local News, News