SUNBURY – Coronavirus-related business and other closures across the Valley are really hurting some Valley families, and two area organizations are looking to help. The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way is urging anyone who needs any social service help to call 2-1-1, “2-1-1 is a 24-hour line that anybody who has a human service need calls. So if you need food, or diapers for your baby or you need to know where to go for a flu shot or even if you need mental health support.”
Joanne Troutman, President and CEO of The United Way says the 2-1-1 the call center is staffed and ready to help, “They are trained in crisis, they are trained to assess your needs and ask some leading questions to get to the bottom of what you actually need.”
Troutman says their existing emergency fund is growing thanks to the Degenstein Foundation and other local partners. People in need will be able to receive some assistance, “So the call comes in from 2-1-1, and let’s say you help paying your rent. They’ll refer you to the proper community action agency. They’ll do an intake and they’ll utilize the fund, depending on what your eligibility is for other funds.”
She says many local partners have already come together, a network of food distribution is established, such as school districts conducting lunch and breakfast pickups. Food pantries and schools are also being provided with extra toiletries, as well as vouchers for over-the-counter medications. Hear more from Joanne Troutman on the WKOK Podcast page.