United Way of Berks County helps thousands of people each year through 211
211 is Berks County’s lifeline for help. In times of crisis, 211 is here to help every person in our community connect to essential services. Here are five reasons to use 211:
1. 211 makes it easy to access resources whenever you need them.
The service is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and available in multiple languages. 211 can be accessed by:
• Phone by dialing 211
• Texting your zip code to 898211
• Visiting their website (pa211east.org) to search online
2. 211 can help you find resources for whatever you need.
In 2021, housing assistance was the number one need of 211 callers from Berks County, with over 3,000 Berks Countians calling 211.
211 also provides help with:
• Finding a job
• Transportation services
• Utility assistance
• Health care
• Income support assistance
• Childcare and family services
3. 211 connects Berks Countians with local help.
In 2021, 4,047 contacts were made via phone, email, texting and social media and there were nearly 10,000 searches of the 211 database. Below are the top 10 agencies 211 referred as a resource (those bolded are United Way Agency Partners).
• Catholic Charities
• Berks Coalition to End Homeless
• Salvation Army of Reading
• City of Reading
• Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
• Berks Community Action Program, Inc
• Family Promise of Berks County
• Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
• Opportunity House
• Friend Inc, Community Services
4. 211 works to provide help despite challenges.
There are times when 211 is not able to refer for the inquirer’s specific need due to various reasons. When a need is recorded as “unmet,” the 211 specialist explores other resources and services that may be of assistance. They have done this by providing:
• Community shelters/transitional housing
• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs
• Homeless motel vouchers/motel bill payment assistance
• Rent payment assistance
• Automobile payment assistance
5. 211 is there for everyone.
In 2021, 211 received calls from people varying in all ages, genders, and zip codes. Challenges do not discriminate, and that is why 211 is available to help everyone in Berks County and beyond.
Learn more on their website.