MERCER COUNTY, Pennsylvania - Mercer County United Way chose the date 2/11 to promote its new 2-1-1 assistance phone system.
The aim of PA 2-1-1 is much the same as 9-1-1, to provide an easy to remember three-digit number to get connected to the proper agency, but for non-emergencies.
"Our research shows us that it takes anywhere from seven to 10 calls to find the right agency, so 2-1-1 is that three digit non-emergency number that we want people to start using and they will be referred to the correct agency almost immediately," said James Micsky, Director of the Mercer United Way.
The list of agencies can help address a variety of assistance needs.
"Things like food, housing, utility assistance, knowing where to go for a flu shot or some other type of service," Micaky said.
Callers to 2-1-1 will speak with a real person, not a recording, and Micsky says the referral service is open to all non-profits.
"Every agency in Mercer County needs to access the 2-1-1 website and put their information on this site so that we do have accurate referrals," Micsky said.
The United Way believes the service will be a benefit to the entire community and want more people to be aware of 2-1-1.
"We want to start looking at 2013 as the year that we really ramp up the Information so as we move forward our residents have quality service," Micsky said.
United Way believes as more people make use of the system it will save time and create a more efficient process.