bc211 launches mobile site for 211 day

Local non-profit says half of calls recieved are due to housing crisis

Every day thousands of people across North America turn to 2-1-1 for information.

“Knowledge is power,” said Elena Francesci. “We usually tell people that you don’t know about 211 until you need it.”

Francesci has been working the front lines of bc211 for the past two years. The Vancouver-based nonprofit is a “gateway” for access to 14,500 different government social and community services. Feb. 11 is 211 day, with an aim to highlight the free and confidential services offered online and over the phone.

RELATED: Housing, healthcare and more: bc211 connects residents to resources

“We often find that people have no idea what they need when a crisis hits, or when a family emergency or perhaps a medical diagnosis … [that] people aren’t familiar with the services available to support them,” said Nathan Wright, executive director of bc211.

By dialing 211 anytime, day or night, callers will be put in touch with a trained specialist on the other line who can put them in contact with services or resources in their own community that can help meet the caller’s needs.

According to Wright about half the calls received in B.C. are people looking for housing or shelter and Francesci agrees.

“Unfortunately most of the time we’re not able to direct people to long term shelter but usually we’re at least able to let them know where to go for a one night stay,” she said.

RELATED: United Way, bc211 activate shelter bed helpline and real-time list for Greater Victoria

Bc211 has launched a new mobile site this year in hopes of reaching more people than an app would be able to. People can reach 211 by phone, text or online.

“Dialing 211 is a lot more accessible than searching online,” said Francesci.

Initially the nonprofit started in Atlanta, Georgia in 1997 after United Way recognized the challenge people had remembering 10-digit phone numbers and implemented 211.

The 211 service is completely funded through United Way, but Wright hopes government funding is within the near future.

“[Right now] we’re just trying to ensure the government is aware of the service that we provide British Columbia,” said Wright.

For more information on 211 and the services provided visit bc211.ca or dial 211



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Midway will open early at the 2019 Saanich Fair

This year the fair will pilot a “sneak peek” and the main stage will feature April Wine

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

Speculation tax forces sale of Oak Bay’s ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read