History of the 2-1-1 Initiative in Southwestern PA
Currently 2-1-1 is available to over 86.6% of the nation’s population, including 50 states. In Western Pennsylvania, the United Ways of Westmoreland, Butler, and Allegheny worked together to plan for the implementation of 2-1-1 and began launching these services in Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Fayette and Westmoreland Counties in July 2011. United Way of Allegheny County is managing the delivery of these services in partnership with neighboring United Ways. Washington, Indiana, and Mercer Counties joined the initiative in 2012. Outreach is underway develop partnerships in the rest of the designated service area, which includes Beaver, Greene, and Lawrence Counties, in 2013.
2-1-1 provides the infrastructure to promote new initiatives and respond quickly when situations arise. In 2011, the federal government awarded over $100,000,000 in mortgage foreclosure prevention funds to Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). This program had the potential to help thousands of Pennsylvanians avoid foreclosure, but funds were only accessible for a few short months. PHFA contracted with PA 2-1-1 Southwest to promote the program, and was able to secure more than $13,000,000 in funding to help families in our region save their homes. Many of the states that received these federal funds failed to expend them during the limited time frame. Pennsylvania was one of only three states across the county able to expend all of the dollars, and was also able to attract additional funds.
As we build the PA 2-1-1 Southwest database, we encourage agencies offering human services to contact us to add their service information to our growing database. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
2-1-1 across Pennsylvania
PA 2-1-1 has received the authority from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to oversee the development of 2-1-1 in Pennsylvania. In turn, PA 2-1-1 has designated seven regional 2-1-1 centers. The United Way of Allegheny County serves as the 2-1-1 call center for the southwestern PA region. The official designation by PA 2-1-1 directs the United Way of Allegheny County to provide 24/7 services, operate in accordance with established national standards, and work toward providing service in every county in the southwestern region. The United Way of Allegheny County is further directed to secure national Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) accreditation within two years of publicly launching the service.