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United Way, PA 211 offer resources for households struggling with loss of income from coronavirus

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United Way of Pennsylvania and PA 211 have launched an informational campaign by text to keep Pennsylvanians connected to verified sources of information on coronavirus and resources to help households struggling with a loss of income.

This is in addition to live-answer text and call services by PA 211, and local fundraising by United Way for emergency needs that support Pennsylvania communities.

“During the last week, PA 211 has seen more than double its normal contact volume, seven days per week,” according to Debbie Reihart, PA 211 executive director. “In order to serve the many more Pennsylvanians who are struggling with basic needs, or have questions about COVID-19, Pennsylvanians can now text PACOVID to 898-211 to opt into a text message push campaign with links to vetted sources of factual information.”

Pennsylvanians who need to have a live, two-way conversation with a 211 community resource navigator can continue to access help by texting their zip code to 898-211. They can visit www.uwp.org/211gethelp for statewide, regional and local resources. Text and via the website are the quickest way to access help while 211 experiences higher-than-usual call volumes, but Pennsylvanians can also dial 211 on their land line or mobile phone to be connected to a resource navigator, according to a press release.

Individuals with immediate needs related to the COVID-19 crisis can also access resources and updates at https://www.uwp.org/pacovid/.

“We encourage all Pennsylvanians to do everything within their means to not only mitigate the spread of this virus, but also to give generously as they are able to help support the millions of Pennsylvanians who are losing income, who stand on the front lines of the response every day, and those at risk in our communities before, during and after the COVID-19 crisis,” said Kristen Rotz, president of United Way of Pennsylvania.  

Pennsylvanians who are uncertain where to give can consider one of the local COVID-19 response funds that have been set up across the state by local United Ways. Links to those funds are available at https://www.uwp.org/covid19support/.

United Way of Pennsylvania has created a Nonprofit COVID-19 resource hub which is updated daily at https://www.uwp.org/covid19nonprofithub/.

All people-serving organizations — human service agencies, churches, community service organizations — are urged to update their information for the PA 211 resource database as services change, according to the press release. Submit information through a Google form at www.uwp.org/211gethelp.  

Pennsylvania 211 is a statewide telephone, text and self-serve web search for health and human resources that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

To reach PA 211, text your ZIP code to 898-211 or dial 211 from your phone.  A guided search for community resources is also available at https://www.uwp.org/211gethelp/.