For Philadelphians, violence prevention support is a call, text, or online chat away.
Gun violence remains a growing concern in our region. In fact, it’s one of the top issues Philadelphia residents are considering when they cast their votes in November’s mayoral election. Residents, city officials, and organizations like #PhillySJUnited are taking action through Philadelphia’s Violence Prevention Hotline.
In March 2022, United Way and the City of Philadelphia formed a partnership to add a violence prevention option to the 211 Resource Hotline. The Hotline, which already provided 24/7 real-time support for people seeking help with benefits access, housing, and healthcare, was now able to assist individuals engaging in violence or who live in neighborhoods experiencing high rates of crime.
Now when people dial 211 and press option 3, they are connected to trained Resource Navigators who can lead them to preventative services, grief support, and more. The Hotline also features a texting option (text 898-211), an online chat feature at pa211.org, and can provide translation support in more than 150 languages.
"Our young family was reeling from a random act of senseless violence. We were lucky to find Philadelphia's Violence Prevention Hotline."
Parents concerned their children are engaging in violence can call 211 and get help from organizations like the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN) or Mothers in Charge, which specialize in intervention.
Teenagers or young adults who find themselves reluctantly hanging with the wrong crowd can call and get help from organizations like the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia or New Options More Opportunities (NOMO), which can connect them to trained counselors and provide a safe space for them to develop positive life skills and nurture their potential.
Seniors who don’t feel as safe in their neighborhoods as they used to, for instance, can get connected to the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, through which they can organize, volunteer, and help advocate for neighborhood revitalization projects.
And victims of gun violence or their families can call and receive counseling from organizations like the Central Division of Victim Services (CDVS) that give them a chance to heal through trauma-informed care, as well as opportunities to help restore their community.
United Way is committed to strengthening the hotline and spreading hope.
The Violence Prevention Hotline plays a crucial role in United Way's broader poverty reduction strategy – providing individuals with the support they need to break free from the cycle of violence and allow them to build a better, safer future for themselves and their families.
This year, we are renewing our investment in the Hotline and spreading the news about this important tool with two new public service announcements (PSAs), so people and families know about the services at their fingertips. The ads are running on television, online, radio, and social media.
Become a part of our outreach efforts by viewing the PSAs below and sharing them with your friends, family, and colleagues on social media.
And remember: You, too, are encouraged to contact the Hotline if you are experiencing gun violence in your neighborhood. Note: If you are in immediate danger, always call 911.
Thank you for standing #PhillySJUnited with us as we work to address violent crime in our communities.