Working together to keep local households safe - PA 2-1-1 Southwest, powered by United Way

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Working together to keep local households safe

Keeping the heat on to a safe degree; having light and electricity; using the stove to cook a warm meal.

Families often take these basic needs and access to critical utilities for granted. But for many in our community, when a crisis occurs, these everyday household utilities could be at jeopardy. That’s where Dollar Energy Fund comes in.

“We work directly with utility companies to link low-income households to resources and make sure they are maintaining safe and adequate utilities,” said Chad Quinn, CEO, Dollar Energy Fund. “It’s our goal to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by helping with utility assistance when needed and other services that lead to self-sufficiency.”

Oftentimes people are referred to Dollar Energy Fund through their utility agency if they are at-risk of missing a payment or behind on a payment. The organization also reaches many people through referrals from PA 2-1-1 Southwest. Just last year, the two organizations expanded their relationship and impact when PA 2-1-1 Southwest co-located its call center with Dollar Energy Fund, allowing their partnership to become more seamless.

“Sharing a space with 2-1-1 has provided a much warmer transfer for our callers,” Quinn explained. “We’re now able to make that immediate connection. If someone calls 2-1-1 for utilities assistance, we’re right there, or if someone reaches out to us for help with something we’re not able to provide, we can send them to 2-1-1 for additional assistance.”

From 2017-2018, Dollar Energy Fund provided 7,889 grants to people across the region totaling $2.8 million. In the last year, 1,934 people have been referred to Dollar Energy Fund through 2-1-1.

“Our partnership with 2-1-1 is so important. Typically, when people need help with their utilities, there’s usually something else going on in the household,” Quinn said. “We can help address the utility need, but 2-1-1 is there to help look at the situation holistically.”

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund, visit https://www.dollarenergy.org/.

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