United Way Worldwide has declared February 11th as National 2-1-1 Day. A surprising number of people don’t know about calling 2-1-1. To help increase awareness, February 11 has been designated National 2-1-1 Day. For the last 44 years people of Northeastern PA have been singing the Help Line jingle to themselves to remember the local number for information and referral services. Now you just need to know three little numbers 2-1-1.
Everyday people need help and don’t know where to turn. Many times, when a simple solution is available the wait, unaware, until their small problem turns into a crisis. By dialing a free easy-to-remember phone number — 2-1-1 — callers reach trained caseworkers who can identify their needs and offer them information on thousands of programs and services that specialize in meeting critical basic needs such as food and housing; physical and mental health resources; employment supports; assistance for older adults and people with disabilities; and support for children, youth and families.
Help Line was established in 1972 after Hurricane Agnes; to provide a central resource for vital information for survivors of this devastating disaster. In 1975 Help Line entered into agreements with a number of area agencies to provide twenty-four hour crisis services. Soon after, other agencies signed onto the service and Help Line became the crisis center for many Wyoming Valley social service agencies. Help Line currently provides after hours crisis services for eighteen different agencies covering six counties in NEPA.
Since 1972 Help Line / PA 2-1-1 NEPA has handled over 2.8 million telephone calls, last year over 95,000 calls were handled by the Help Line / PA 2-1-1 caseworkers. The Help Line / PA 2-1-1 web site; www.helpline-nepa.info also received over 15,000 hits.
2-1-1 can be accessed by phone, text or computer twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. By remembering three simple digits, you can dial 2-1-1 and be connected to a Help Line caseworker. You can still dial the Help Line / PA 2-1-1, local number of 570-829-1341 or the toll free number of 1-800-829-1341.
This year to meet changing communication trends Help Line / PA 2-1-1 started a free texting program. By texting your zip code to 898211, you will be in contact with a Help Line / PA 2-1-1 caseworker who will work with you to meet your needs. Basic text and data rates may apply. The PA 2-1-1 database is also accessible from the Help Line / PA 2-1-1 web site, just click on any PA 2-1-1 logo on the web site and you can access available resources from throughout Pennsylvania.