PITTSBURGH — The state is urging Pennsylvanians not to go it alone if they are struggling financially during the pandemic.
The government is surprised more people are not applying for public assistance.
The new stimulus package helps those out of work in Pennsylvania because it extends unemployment benefits, but the state has several other resources available for those struggling financially. Officials are trying to get more people to apply for them.
“Programs that provide support and access to lifesaving healthcare, purchase food, pay for utilities and other basic expenses, like clothing, transportation and shelter,” Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller said.
Despite those programs, the state hasn’t seen a huge uptick in people applying for aid during the crisis, and officials are working with the University of Pittsburgh to understand why.
“We’re finding that people don’t want assistance, or think they will be employed again soon,” Miller said.
The state urged people to apply, even if need is short-term.
“No one should feel like they have to endure this stress, anxiety during this period alone,” Miller said.
Pennsylvanians are urged to use the PA 211 program to find what they need. It provides health and human services referrals 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
“No matter your income level and no matter where you live, PA 211 maintains a database of resources for many in need. And most people who contact 211 are looking for help with food, housing and/or utility,” Kristin Rotz, President of the United Way of Pennsylvania, said.
CLICK HERE to learn more about PA 211.
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