Make the Right Call on 211 Day or Try the New Mobile Site

February 11 is 211 Day across North America.

211 is a free, up-to-date, reliable gateway to community, social, non-clinical health, and government services. In regional districts of Metro Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast, and Fraser Valley, as well as on Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, free, confidential help is available by calling 211 any time of day or night, 365 days a year. People in this area can also get help by texting 211 from 8 am to 11 pm daily. And anyone in British Columbia can access help online any time at bc211.ca.

Mobile Site Launches

bc211 is launching a new mobile site to make it easier and faster for people to find information on their mobile devices. Anyone accessing bc211.ca from their mobile devices will automatically be redirected to the new site where users land directly on search topics with drop-down menus to help narrow searches. Currently 60% of site visitors across the province access bc211.ca on their desktops; 35% on their mobile devices; and 5% on their tablets.

“The new mobile site means that people can find what they’re looking for faster – especially for youth who are heavy users of mobile devices,” said Nathan Wright, Executive Director, bc211. “There is no need to download an app to access the information. For some people, needing to download an app can be a barrier.”

“bc211 helps make our community social service network more visible and accessible to those in need, including all the programs supported by United Way Greater Victoria,” said United Way Greater Victoria CEO, Mark Breslauer. “bc211 is a free and confidential lifeline for people in need.”

Uptake on the Island

Since the full suite of phone, text and online searching was introduced on Vancouver Island 18 months ago, more than 21,000 people have been helped by bc211. For Vancouver Islanders, the top reasons people are contacting bc211 are: housing and homelessness; mental health; health; income and financial assistance; and substance use.

Access Non-Emergency Services

While Canadians should always call 9-1-1 for emergencies, dialling 2-1-1 for non-emergency services helps reduce congestion on 911 dispatch lines. The 211 network now reaches more than 26 million Canadians. 211 operates in partnership with United Way across Canada.

For information or interviews contact:

Jennifer Young
Director of Marketing and Communications
United Way Greater Victoria
250-984-2269
jennifer.young@uwgv.ca

Nathan Wright
Executive Director bc211
604-708-3200
Nathan.Wright@bc211.ca