PA 211 Offers Key Resources for Pennsylvanians

Three people sitting in a row with "211" on a screen behind them

Many Americans don’t have to worry much about how they will pay for groceries, housing, healthcare, and other basic life necessities.

For low-income individuals and families, however, access to these essential resources and countless others may be limited due to financial constraints. This can not only lead to major sources of stress, but to serious negative impacts on their quality of life and health outcomes. As of 2021, in Pennsylvania alone—the fifth most populous state in the US—39% of households struggled to meet the basic needs of living.

Fortunately, Pennsylvanians who find themselves struggling can turn to PA 211, a service that provides information and referrals for essential services. Here’s what you need to know about PA 211 and how it can help you get your life on track by offering support for a wide range of needs.

What Is PA 211?

A woman in a blue shirt wearing a headset looking up towards the camera.

PA 211, or Pennsylvania 211, is a service that provides information and referrals to essential community resources for low-income families and individuals in Pennsylvania. The service connects people with vital resources, such as housing assistance, food assistance, healthcare, mental health services, help with utility bills, and more. PA 211 is a free, confidential service available 24/7, and is available to all residents of Pennsylvania.

Essential Services That PA 211 Offers

A person with a stethoscope listening to the heartbeat of an older woman

Here are just a few of the kinds of services Pennsylvanians can access by dialing 211:

  • Housing assistance. PA 211 can connect individuals and families with affordable housing options and emergency housing assistance. The service provides referrals to programs such as rental assistance, transitional housing, and emergency shelter.
  • Food assistance. PA 211 can provide information on food assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), and food pantries. The service can also connect individuals with meal delivery services for seniors and those with disabilities.
  • Healthcare. PA 211 can provide information on healthcare options such as Medicaid, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), and low-cost or free clinics. The service can also provide referrals to programs that offer assistance with prescription drugs and medical equipment.
  • Mental health and addiction services. PA 211 can connect individuals and families with mental health and addiction services such as counseling, support groups, and substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Employment and education. PA 211 can provide information on job training programs, employment services, and educational opportunities such as GED programs.

Advantages of Using the PA 211 Service

Four people: one texting, one on a phone call, one using a tablet, and one on a laptop

To begin with, the PA 211 service is a great starting point for individuals and families who need assistance with a number of “life” difficulties, but don’t know where to get it. It offers other important advantages as well:

  • Comprehensive resource database. PA 211 has an extensive database of essential services available to low-income individuals and families in Pennsylvania. The database is continually updated to provide accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Confidentiality. PA 211 is a confidential service, and individuals can be assured that their personal information will be kept private. This privacy allows individuals and families to seek assistance without fear of judgment or repercussions.
  • Accessibility. PA 211 is available 24/7, and individuals can access the service via phone, text, or website. The service is available in multiple languages, ensuring that everyone can receive assistance.
  • Cost-Effective. PA 211 is a free service, and individuals and families can access the resources they need without incurring additional costs.
  • Real people, real help. PA 211 is not just a database; it is a service that is staffed by real people who are trained to provide assistance and referrals. Individuals and families can speak with a live representative who can provide them with the resources and support they need.

Get the Assistance You Need To Thrive With United Way of York County

United Way of York County in Pennsylvania assists working households in our community to achieve financial stability by collaboratively and equitably reducing barriers to prosperity. We offer access to free health and human services, affordable prescription medications, assistance with tax preparation, and more to fight for the education, health, and economic mobility for all members of our community. 

Learn more about how to use PA 211 and contact us to get the services you need for a financially successful future. Alternatively, consider supporting us by making a donation today!