LEWISTOWN - Following approximately 10 years of planning, the 2-1-1 human service calling network is up and running locally.
Marie Mulvihill, executive director of the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata made the announcement Thursday during the business meeting of the Mifflin County Commissioners.
"2-1-1 is an easy to remember three-digit phone number that provides assistance to consumers who are looking for human service providers in their communities," Mulvihill said in a press release she shared at the meeting.
Sentinel photo by JOE?CANNON
Marie Mulvihill, executive director of the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, announced the establishment of the 2-1-1 human services calling network during Thursday’s business meeting of the Mifflin County Commissioners. Above, Mulvihill, standing left, displays the 2-1-1 banner with Allison Fisher, director of the Mifflin-Juniata Human Services Department. The commissioners are, seated from left, Kevin Kodish, Mark Sunderland and Otis Riden.
According to Mulvihill, the 2-1-1 service is now available in the central region of Pennsylvania which includes the following counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, Somerset and Union.
"We greatly appreciate and extend our sincere thanks to the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers in the PA 2-1-1 Central Region, the Mifflin County Commissioners and the United Way Board of Directors who contributed the needed start-up funding to make this system a reality," Mulvihill said.
According to the release, 2-1-1 will ensure people are connected to services, moving them into programs that support their needs and reducing costs by preventing problems from growing into a crisis. By dialing 2-1-1, the caller will access a live information and referral specialist who will provide contact information specific to the caller's local community.
"PA 2-1-1 plays an important role in effectively coordinating information about services and provides a single telephone number individuals can call when they are seeking information about assistance," Mulvihill stated. "The long-term goal of the network is to reduce costs to private and govermental human support services by moving those in need into service support prior to the development of full-blown and costly crisis situations."
According to the release, the system is capable of sharing data among local providers, rolling calls to other agencies in times of natural disaster, and meeting current licensing standards for information and referral providers across the country.
The service is available by telephone and online database 24 hours a day, every day of the year, Mulvihill pointed out.
"As the PA 2-1-1 system expands throughout the Commonwealth, it will have the capacity to partner with 9-1-1 in times of natural or man made disaster so that 9-1-1 can dedicate itself to first responders, leaving 2-1-1 to provide answers to urgent, but not emergency calls," she said.
For more information about the network, contact Mulvihill at 248-9636, Allison Fisher at 242-5452, or visit www.pa211central.org.
In other business Thursday, the commissioners:
Approved the Medical Assistance Transportation Program grant agreement which runs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
Approved a purchase of service agreement for use, if needed by Children & Youth, with Family Care Services Inc. of Chambersburg.
Approved an application for 2012 Liquid Fuels funding by Oliver Township in the amount of $12,742.68.
Approved a professional Engineering Services agreement between the Borough of Juniata Terrace and Uni-Tee Consulting Engineers for a sewer project being funded through Community Development Block Grant money.
Accepted the Mifflin County Offender Re-Entry Planning Grant in the amount of $13,673.
Approved the Mifflin County Homeless Program grant agreements for July 1, 2012 to June 30 to benefit the following agencies: Shelter Services, $19,742; The Abuse Network, $5,000; and Mifflin-Juniata Human Services, $2,749.
Approved the Human Services Development Fund Contract for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, in the following amounts: Big Brothers/Big Sisters, $3,000; LUMINA Center, $3,000; Shelter Services, $8,400; The Abuse Network, $3,458; Mifflin-Juniata Dental Clinic, $4,000; and Mifflin-Juniata Human Services, $5,000 for grant administration and $23,142 for service coordination.
Approved adding $7,828 from county liquid fuels money to Phase 3 of the Monument Square Streetscape Project for the addition of two properties on North Main Street with storm water runoff issues.
Appointed Allison Fisher of McVeytown to fill an unexpired term on the Mifflin County Industrial Development Authority.
Hired Roger Kennedy Jr. as a part-time corrections officer effective Oct. 7.
Hired Ronald Knable as a part-time corrections officer effective Oct. 7.