United Way organizations are committed to helping employees impacted by the federal government shutdown.
Within Pennsylvania, a special texting code was launched to provide informational updates and resource information. Furloughed employees in need of social services or resources can text FEDSD to 898-211 to sign up to receive updates each week day for the duration of the impasse. The text updates are reinforced by a mobile-friendly web page on United Way of Pennsylvania’s site, which is cataloging resources to help these employees. Employees are also reminded to call 2-1-1 , or text their zip code to 898-211, to speak to a resource navigator.
United Way of Pennsylvania, PA 2-1-1, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the America Federation of Government Employees District 3 have partnered together to launch the special texting capability during the shutdown period.
• 2-1-1 is powered by United Way and is a free, confidential, comprehensive information and referral service that connects residents year-round with the health and human services they need. Individuals can reach 2-1-1 by calling 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898-211 or visiting pa211east.org. 2-1-1 is available 24/7, 365 days a year; it is a bilingual service. (2-1-1 is not intended for emergency use.)
• Last year, 2-1-1 received over 7,300 inquiries from Berks County residents, which was nearly a 40% increase over 2017. Top needs centered on housing, utility, food and health program assistance.
• United Way recommends anyone seeking information and referral about community resources, to connect with 2-1-1.
All residents are reminded to call 2-1-1 for information and referral services for community needs around housing, utility and food assistance, as well as information related to child care, health programs and more.