United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Recognizes the Vital Community Hotline on 211 Day

Sunday, February 11 (2/11) is 211 Day – an annual observance celebrating the go-to 2-1-1 resource that helps millions of people in the U.S. and Canada – including those in the Greater Lehigh Valley– be connected to information about local resources and services. Last year, in the Greater Lehigh Valley, housing requests have doubled, requests for utilities supports increased 166%, food support requests increased 291% and mental health requests increased 217%.

211 is a vital resource utilized by almost 67,000 residents in the Greater Lehigh Valley who need assistance with disaster, food, health care, mental health, insurance, stable housing, utility payment, veteran services, childcare and other related needs. In 2023, the service received over 38,000 calls, which included email, text, chat and website messages from people in Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

The top requests in our region were for shelter, rent assistance and low-cost housing (37,018 requests), utilities (6,065 requests), food (4,062) and mental health services (2,493). Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties are in the top 10 with the highest rates of housing and shelter requests in the state (Lehigh is #3, Northampton is #8 and Carbon is #10).

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“211 helps people, improves lives and strengthens communities,” said Patricia Espinosa-Vargas, Director, PA 211 East. “During 211 Day, we celebrate this service that has helped a number of Greater Lehigh Valley people.”

Established in 2000 by the Federal Communications Commission as the three-digit number to reach information and referral services for health, human, and social organizations, today 211 is a resource for help and hope in communities, like the Greater Lehigh Valley, across North America. Last year, the 211 network received 18 million requests and made a total of 19 million referrals for local services.

During 211 Day, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley encourages residents to:

  • Call, text, or chat 211 if they or someone they know needs help
  • Share 211 widely with their neighbors, family, and friends to connect others to help and supports
  • Advocate to your local policymakers for the importance of and need to strengthen 211