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PA 2-1-1 Southwest
Often unknown and underutilized, there exists a helpful, one-stop-shop of a number for social services in Mercer County.  PA 2-1-1 Southwest is a 24-hour non-emergency helpline for all social services.  If you need connected to a social service in your area, then 2-1-1 is your go-to hub.  Short on food for the month and in need of assistance? Dial 2-1-1. Need a ride to an appointment? Dial 2-1-1.  Need help filing your taxes? 2-1-1.

Part of the national 2-1-1 Call Centers initiative, PA 2-1-1 Southwest strives to provide the public with an easy-to-remember contact for all their health and human service needs. Located in Pittsburgh, PA 2-1-1 southwest serves residents of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland counties, as well as our home of Mercer county.  Citizens in need can call the three-digit phone number and be instantly connected to a trained call center navigator who will ask questions, listen, and then direct the caller to local services that best address his or her problems. 

2-1-1 purposefully cast a wide net for agencies and service providers in their database.  The highly trained call specialists have information at their fingers to refer callers to countless diverse programs. Top areas of recommendations include resources for basic human need, physical and mental health, employment support, support for older adults and persons with disabilities, youth and childcare programs, and regional disaster preparation.  The best part? The confidential referrals are free.

If you or someone you know has contact with a social agency or organization that wishes to increase their reach to help more people, have a representative visit the 2-1-1 website’s service provider tab. There groups can provide the necessary information required to apply for database inclusion. Also, if your agency has already connected to 2-1-1, don’t forget to complete the mandatory yearly listing update in order for call center navigators to have the best available information for callers.


Moreover, 2-1-1 endeavors for easy accessibility. In addition to calling the center at 2-1-1, people can get in touch with services for aid through text (898-211) or chat functions at the 2-1-1 website (www.pa211sw.org). The call navigators have the resources to greatly improve your quality of life; it simply takes a moment to first reach out and contact 2-1-1.

The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania manages PA 2-1-1 Southwest’s delivery, in partnership with other United Ways. Through a grant provided by the Buhl Regional Health Foundation, the United Way of Mercer County is currently working hard to promote PA 2-1-1 Southwest here within their zone of reach.

Jim Micsky, Executive Director of the United Way of Mercer County, asserted the following concerning the center’s impact.  “The United Way of Mercer County’s investment in 2-1-1 provides the most comprehensive and compassionate referral system available.” He continued, “By combining state of the art technology with accredited call center navigators, Mercer County residents receive the most appropriate referral available when seeking help for non-emergency health and human service needs.  2-1-1 truly helps improve the quality of life for all of us.”

So next time you’re in need of a social service, who you gonna call? PA 2-1-1 southwest.

 

November 13 is the next Book Club, meeting at 2-3pm.  November's selection is Carnegies's Maid by Marie Benedict.

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