Lancaster Physician Summer 2019 - 27

SUMMER 2019

United Way of
Lancaster County's

2-1-1
Center
Connects
People
to Life-Changing Services
and Resources
TONI GAINER,

Director 2-1-1, United Way
of Lancaster County

Have you heard about 2-1-1?
Too often the answer is "No." This is
unfortunate because 2-1-1 is a free service that
anyone can use. And it is available when you
are-anytime, day or night, 365 days a year.
What is 2-1-1?
2-1-1 is a special abbreviated telephone
number approved by the Federal Communications Commission in the year 2000. It
is an easy-to-remember three-digit telephone
number providing the most comprehensive
source of local human and social services
information in the U.S. and most of Canada.
At the end of 2018, 2-1-1 was available to
94.2 percent of the US population and 2-1-1
centers across the U.S. made more than 12.8
million connections to help individuals find
services. Referrals were most often made for
housing or utilities assistance; physical or
mental health services; assistance finding and
obtaining employment; and services to address
and prevent homelessness. The 2-1-1 network
also answers dozens of crisis hotlines, including
the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
United Way is committed to the vital service
2-1-1s provide to their communities every day.
In fact, the United Way of Greater Atlanta was
the first organization to make information
and referral services accessible using the 2-1-1
dialing code in 1997. In 2000, United Ways
and other non-profit organizations operating
helplines successfully lobbied the FCC to make
2-1-1 a dedicated number for people in need
of local information and resources. Today,
United Ways operate or provide funding for
over 70 percent of 2-1-1 centers. United Way
fights for the health, education, and financial
stability of every person in every community,
leveraging and promoting 2-1-1 as a critical
partner in its work.
Locally, the 2-1-1 contact center (PA 2-1-1
East) is under the umbrella of the United Way
of Lancaster County. The Center staff handle
inquiries not only from Lancaster County,
but also Berks, Carbon, Lebanon, Lehigh,
Northampton, and Schuylkill communities.

Continued on page 28

LANCASTER

27

PHYSICIAN



Lancaster Physician Summer 2019

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