A Year on the Sunshine Coast

A Retrospective of Sunshine Coast Call Data

In March 2014, bc211 expanded to the Sunshine Coast, broadening the territory reached by service. Now people from Earls Cove to Hope, and from Lillooet to White Rock can access information and referrals to resources in their community by simply dialing 2-1-1. You can also access this same information through text messaging by texting the name of your community to 2-1-1.
A year in to providing service to the Sunshine Coast, we thought it would be interesting to review call data from the region to get an understanding of the demographics and needs identified in these calls. This “Community Snapshot” information was presented at the Sunshine Coast Community Resource Centre this past March as part of a day-long data review and training session on information and referral.

Data findings
A review of Sunshine Coast call data showed, that calls for the area are low. We’ve only been in the region for a year and it will take time for awareness of bc211’s services to build. On top of this, service providers in small communities know each other so they don’t tend to use an information and referral service, especially when it first comes in.

Which Cities calls

Perhaps it’s not surprising that vast majority of Sunshine Coast calls (84%) came from the more densely populated areas of Gibson and Sechelt. Most of our calls (80%) were from individuals; 15% came from service providers.

Callers’ Gender and Age
In general, the majority of calls from the entire bc211 region are from female callers – overall, it’s about a 60/40 split of female to male callers. In keeping with this trend, Sunshine Coast callers were also predominantly female—only 31% of Sunshine Coast callers were male.

Who Made calls - gender

Calls from the entire bc211 region are predominantly made by people between 19 and 54 years old; over 90% of callers to bc211 fit in this demographic; only two to three percent of callers from the entire bc211 region are seniors aged 65 or more[From monthly call data reports 2014-09 to 2015-02]. Interestingly, callers from the Sunshine Coast have tended to be slightly older than this; 83% of callers from the Sunshine Coast fit into the 19 to 54 age group, while 12% of callers were 65 or older. There were no Sunshine Coast calls attributed to youths under 19.

Who Made calls - age

Reasons for calling bc211
There was also a noticeable difference in reasons people from the Sunshine Coast called bc211, compared to the reasons for calling from the overall bc211 call area. The majority [slightly over half] of all calls from the overall bc211 call area deal with issues of housing and homelessness. About eight percent deal with substance use issues, followed by seven percent health issues, five percent abuse, and 4.5% income and financial assistance.
Calls from the Sunshine Coast seem to turn this around a bit: 20% of calls from the region dealt with health issues, followed by 12% housing issues and 10% financial issues.

Why Did They Call - Top 5

The reasons behind calls from the Sunshine Coast vary by the caller’s gender. The top reason for calls from females was health issues; the top reason for calls from males was housing and homelessness. Clearly, the overall volume of calls from females weighted the predominance of health and income/financial assistance among reasons for calling bc211.

Top 3 reasons by gender_v2

Local Referrals
Of the resources to which bc211 referred Sunshine Coast callers, just over half are located in the area. The remaining 48% were likely located on the Mainland. Generally, bc211 gives tries to give callers a range of options to meet whatever need they are calling for. To do this we give (when possible) three referrals per call. For Sunshine Coast callers, the first referral would be to a local resource when one existed. It’s likely that the 48% of non-Sunshine Coast services referred to were given to callers as second or third options when second or third options were not available locally.

Where Ref'd to - in and out sunshine coast

Of the 52% of resources referred to on the Sunshine Coast, three-quarters were located in Sechelt.

Where Ref'd to - within sunshine coast

More from bc211
The bc211 presentation was well received by the Sunshine Coast service providers, and was followed with a training session covering best practice of information and referral on the Sunshine Coast. The training also included a how-to session on searching for services using the Red Book Online.
For more information on bc211, visit us online. If you or your agency is interested in our workshops on information and referral, communication skills, or self-care for service providers, visit our training page .
If you’re looking for resources in your community, dial 2-1-1, to connect with an Information & Referral Specialist. You can also message us by texting the name of your city to 2-1-1. And you can search the Red Book Online anytime.