More than One Million Pennsylvanians Utilized PA 211 Services Since the Beginning of the Pandemic; 211 Launches Statewide Web Chat for Pennsylvanians Who Prefer to Connect Online
Harrisburg, PA – On February 11, PA 211 Day, United Way and the Pennsylvania 211 network are celebrating the ability to connect from Hello to Help for more than one million individuals who sought help since March of 2020 via phone, text, or web search, and launching a new website chat-for-help available across PA.
“PA 211 strives to be the first, most essential resource to all Pennsylvanians who need help. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin with 211. Our service provides highly-trained, local experts who make it easy to find help. We’re here any time of day, and we work hard to provide resources with compassion and understanding,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania and Executive Director of PA 211.
211 is the only free, confidential, 24/7/365 service that connects Pennsylvanians with all the health and human services in their area that are available to help. Since COVID-19 began in March of 2020, more than half a million people called or texted 211 for help.
PA 211 also offers individuals the ability to search for assistance at pa211.org. During the same time period, there were 489,000 web sessions with access to the database of community resources. In total across all communication channels, the PA 211 system has served more than one million Pennsylvanians since March, 2020.
“The number of Pennsylvanians reaching out to PA 211 is increasing in all contact channels, but the highest rate of growth is happening in the public web site search of community resources at pa211.org. To make it easier for Pennsylvanians to complete their online search, today we are launching a chat feature which allows people who need additional help navigating community resources to chat with a 211 Resource Navigator,” said Kristen Rotz, President of United Way of Pennsylvania and Executive Director of PA 211.
To chat online with a 211 Resource Navigator, visit pa211.org, start a search for resources, and select the option to chat.
PA 211 continues to offer the best real-time data on needs of individuals in the Commonwealth. PA 211 Counts (pa.211counts.org) is a dashboard to understand these needs in counties, zip codes, legislative districts, and regions across the state. The data currently reflects only calls and texts to 211.
“Pennsylvanians most commonly needed help with housing and shelter, followed by utilities, healthcare and COVID-19 resources, employment and income supports, and food. About 66,000 people contacted PA 211 for the first time in 2021,” said Emily Aubele, statewide Quality Assurance Director for PA 211.
To reach PA 211 by phone, dial 211 or text your zip code to 898-211. A guided search for community resources and chat is also available at pa211.org.