Lehigh Valley

United Way celebrates 2-1-1 Day

Service provides safe housing for people in need.

EASTON, Pa. - Sunday marked Pennsylvania 2-1-1 Day, an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness about the United Way's 2-1-1 help line service which is a program connecting area families in need with the necessary resources to help.

"2-1-1 Day gives United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and our partner agencies such as Third Street Alliance an opportunity to share the life changing ways that 2-1-1 has impacted the lives of Pennsylvania residents," said Laura McHugh, Director of Communications and Media Relations for United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

2-1-1 is a is a free, confidential information and referral service used to help area families in need.

"2-1-1 provides that critical link between the people who need services and the resources that are out there to help them," said McHugh.

Some common services provided by 2-1-1 include health, utilities and housing and that's where groups like Third Street Alliance come in, which provides safe housing for women and children in need.

"We know right now that there are over 1300 families or households waiting for housing in the Lehigh Valley," said Alisa Baratta, Executive Director of Third Street Alliance.
Baratta says through 2-1-1, her agency and other area shelters are able to coordinate and more effectively provide beds and housing to low-income families.
"Your name gets placed on the community que and as providers have open beds or open housing they will get in touch with you and bring you into their program," said Baratta. 

Baratta says there are still some major community challenges.

"There are limited shelter beds and certainly limited housing opportunities for low-income families."

But she says the 2-1-1 service is making a big impact, hence the celebration Sunday on 2/11.

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