bc211 Launches Mobile Text Messaging Service

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Starting February 2, 2015, residents of the Lower Mainland will be able to access bc211 services simply by texting 211 from their mobile device. This means accessing free information and referral regarding community, government and social services in B.C. no longer requires a phone call.

Focus on Youth

Launched in partnership with TELUS and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, the mobile text messaging service will initially focus on providing service to Lower Mainland youth. Research conducted by bc211 shows that the issues most impacting local youth are mental health, substance abuse, connection to community, and homelessness. The mobile text messaging service will offer youth another avenue to access bc211’s services, using technology that youth have already embraced. Our hope is to enhance our ability to connect youth to the services they need in addressing these key issues.

Connecting with Resources

bc211 connects people of all ages with community resources, providing  immediate help with issues such as housing and shelter, substance use, health care and financial assistance. bc211 operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is multilingual. All inquiries are answered by Certified Information & Referral Specialists with extensive training and social services experience.  211 services are completely confidential and available in Metro Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Valley Regional Districts.

Partnership with TELUS

“Through our partnership with TELUS and the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, we are thrilled to be the first region in Canada to offer 211 services via text messaging,” said Bob Prenovost, Executive Director of bc211. “The increase in the use of mobile devices and the use of text messaging as a primary mode of communication particularly among youth are key reasons for introducing this new service.”

“TELUS and our Vancouver Community Board are committed to helping improve lives through the power of technology,” said Jill Schnarr, Vice-President, Community Affairs at TELUS. “This new text messaging service will give youth access to much-needed information and resources using their smartphones — ensuring brighter, healthier futures for our youth and our communities.”


Media contacts:

Bob Prenovost
Executive Director
604 708 3200

Liz Sauvé
TELUS Media Relations