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DATE: APRIL 16, 2018 10:00AM

United Way of Pennsylvania Candidate Survey offers Pennsylvanians the opportunity to learn where gubernatorial candidates stand on issues related to education, health, financial stability, and the nonprofit sector

Harrisburg, PA – United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP), a statewide nonpartisan organization representing 43 member local United Ways and three United Funds in Pennsylvania, released the results of a gubernatorial candidate survey.

“United Way hopes Pennsylvanians will use this information to learn more about the candidates as they prepare to head to the polls for the May primary,” stated Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania. “There are many factors that voters should consider as they evaluate the candidates. Among these are the issues United Way considers to be foundational to the vibrancy of our local communities and opportunity for all: education, health, financial stability, and the viability of the nonprofit sector.”

The full survey results are available on the UWP public website at under the “Advocacy” menu by clicking on the link for “2018 Gubernatorial Candidates on the Issues”.  The full set of responses has been posted for each candidate. The responses are available in two formats: sorted by issue area, or sorted by candidate.

The survey captures where the candidates stand on issues, such as the following:

  • Access to high-quality pre-k and child care
  • The state budget process and avoiding a budget impasse
  • Workforce development strategies
  • Access to healthcare
  • Partnership with 2-1-1 for human services information and referral

United Way of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) organization, which does not engage in partisan political activity. UWP will not endorse a candidate for governor. The purpose of this survey is to educate voters impartially on a nonpartisan basis. All candidates were given equal opportunity to respond to the survey, and three out of four gubernatorial candidates participated.  The candidates who responded to this survey are Laura Ellsworth, Scott Wagner and Tom Wolf.

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Date: February 22, 2018


Harrisburg, PA – Connect To Home: Coordinated Entry System (CES) of Eastern PA coordinates access, assessment, prioritization and referral into the housing crisis response system for all households and populations in a thirty-three county region.

Connect To Home is administered by the Eastern PA Continuum of Care (CoC), the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and the United Way of Pennsylvania.  The CoC is working together to end and prevent homelessness with five-year strategic goals, which include: to reduce all homelessness by 50%; end chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans; reduce homelessness among unaccompanied youth and families with children; and set a path to end all homelessness. 

“The Eastern PA Continuum of Care recognizes the launch of Connect To Home: Coordinated Entry System as an important milestone in the implementation of our strategic plan”, states Jeff Rich, Chair, Eastern PA CoC Governing Board.  “It is exciting to see a multitude of resources linked to a simple access method like 2-1-1.  This will truly revolutionize our service delivery model throughout our 33-county area.” 

"By coordinating entry for anyone experiencing homelessness, Connect To Home is helping a large region of Eastern Pennsylvania prioritize housing and supportive services for the most vulnerable while ensuring more equitable access for all,” says Jason Alexander, Capacity for Change, LLC, Eastern PA CoC CES Consultant. “While Coordinated Entry Systems cannot promise housing or services to everyone, Connect To Home will generate more accurate data about unmet community needs to inform future planning efforts and build a stronger case for investing in solutions that have a greater impact."

People experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk for homelessness may access Connect To Home by calling 2-1-1 toll-free 24/7 or presenting in-person at CoC-designated Access Sites, located across the Eastern region, during normal business hours.  When an individual connects with 2-1-1 or visits an Access Site, Coordinated Entry Specialists conduct an assessment and provide direct referral to emergency services and/or placement on the community Queue prioritization list for housing programs. 

“Housing issues have always been one of the top reasons people call 2-1-1. We are pleased to partner in a coordinated effort to address homelessness. A call to 2-1-1 connects you to a trained specialist who will ask questions about your housing needs. 2-1-1 information and referral specialists also refer callers to community services such as food programs, utility assistance and more. One call to 2-1-1 can address multiple needs,” according to Anne Fogoros, statewide operations director for PA 2-1-1.

Coordinated Entry Systems are utilized to connect more people to the right solution to end their housing crisis or homelessness as quickly and effectively as possible.  This system will ensure limited housing and resources are prioritized for the people who need them the most while generating more accurate data to make the case for appropriate levels of investment in the future. 

“Connect To Home is a strategy to connect people to the right services as quickly as possible. It is also a broad-based collaboration that leverages public and private resources. It is consistent with United Way’s vision for the future of 2-1-1 as a life-changing service for Pennsylvanians,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania.

The thirty-three counties covered by the CES include: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Somerset, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties.  

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Date: February 5, 2018


Harrisburg, PA – Today, United Way of Pennsylvania and United Way supporters stood with Senator Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh) and Representative Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) to recognize February 11th as PA 2-1-1 Day.    

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 2017, just shy of 200,000 people turned to 2-1-1 in Pennsylvania for help. People 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 like where to take their child for developmental screening, or how to locate job training.  2-1-1 has even been activated for emergency situations in 2017 including flooding in Butler county and the snow blizzard that hit Erie. 

“United Way is proud of how 2-1-1 grew to support more Pennsylvanians in 2017. From helping people displaced after the hurricane in Puerto Rico, to helping vulnerable residents in Erie get connected to volunteers who could dig them out from record snowfall, 2-1-1 answered the call,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania.

“Every day, my staff and I talk with folks who have found themselves facing difficult health and human service-related challenges,” Representative Bloom said. “By recognizing 2-1-1 Day in Pennsylvania, we can bring more awareness to this excellent service, which has helped thousands of families get efficiently connected with the appropriate state or community resources.”

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 also explains how to access those services, availing a translation service for over 170 different languages, if needed.

“The PA 2-1-1 system provides a crucial and quick connection between people in need and assistance available to them in their communities,” Senator Browne said. “I am pleased the Commonwealth is financially investing in this free and confidential 24-hour a day information and referral service that is tremendously helpful to our citizens.” 

Pennsylvania became a part of the national 2-1-1 program after it 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.

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.

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