Reno/Venango County, PA – United Way of Venango County launched PA211 in Venango County in January of 2017. Over the past five years it has helped 1,000s of local residents with referrals to assistance programs, specifically in the area they need.
PA211 is a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects Pennsylvanians statewide with all the health and human services available to help. In 2021, over 2,446 Venango County residents received referrals. The top requests were in the areas of housing, utilities, and household items. In January of 2020 PA211 became available in all 67 counties across the commonwealth.
PA211 Resource Navigators are trained to listen, assess the situation, ask the appropriate questions, and then refer the caller directly to the human services that comprehensively address their need. 211 specialists are able to verbally deliver referrals, text them to a cell phone number, or email them to individuals. These options help ensure that residents are receiving the referrals in the way that suits them best. Navigators are also trained to address underlying issues that may be affecting the caller’s quality of life in other areas.
Since the program was launched Resource Navigators have referred 11,340 individuals to programs in the area. To see real time referral updates and the current top needs visit pa.211counts.org.
Success Story: Autumn, 29, is new in town with limited resources, two growing children and another on the way. She called PA 2-1-1 Northwest because her daughter had outgrown her crib and Autumn couldn’t afford to buy her a bed. The Resource Navigator told April about two local charities that provide free or low-cost furniture. April was about to call those referrals but stopped short when she got her electric bill. She owed $83 that she couldn’t pay, so she contacted 2-1-1 again. The Resource Navigator gave her a third referral, to a program that provides emergency utility assistance. They paid the bill, to April’s great relief. Now she can follow up on her daughter’s bed. The new baby will need that crib soon. Thanks to 2-1-1, everyone in the family will sleep easier.
“Our Resource Navigators are caring individuals who are trained to be sympathetic and view every situation as a personal crisis. They listen to each caller and do anything they can to help them break the cycle of financial distress instead of just patching the issue with a temporary fix.” said Will Price, Executive Director of Venango County.
211 may be contacted by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211, or online by visiting pa211nw.org. If you are struggling with a financial burden, United Way urges you to reach out to 211 today to get the assistance you need.