Search Tips

Search Tips – Using bc211.ca

Some ways to help you find quality results faster


Using the icon shortcuts

Commonly-accessed resources can be found through the icons for the topic areas below. Within each category are subcategories of service types. A location must be specified by using a city name or postal code.

  • Aboriginal Peoples
  • Addiction
  • Children and Families
  • Counselling
  • Disabilities
  • Emergency and Crisis
  • Employment/Training
  • Financial Assistance
  • Food and Basic Goods
  • Health Care
  • Homelessness
  • Housing
  • Immigrants and Refugees
  • Legal and Advocacy
  • Mental Health
  • Older Adults
  • Transportation
  • Victim Services
  • Youth

Searches will find services that are located in the city that has been specified, services located elsewhere that serve the specified city, and services within a 100 km radius. Searches will also find services that provide province-wide coverage.

Results are displayed by proximity based on latitude and longitude, from nearest to farthest away. Search results can also be organized alphabetically by location, or alphabetically by agency name.

These categories and subcategories represent the most frequently requested services. The subcategories do not represent all kinds of service within a category. If you are looking for services outside of these topic areas, use the service search function instead.


Use the Service Search function

This search retrieves services whose names and descriptions contain the word(s) that have been requested in the search. It also searches the subject indexing that each record is tagged with behind the scenes. Similar services are indexed similarly.

Very common human services terms such as service, support, and help will be found in many records. Consider restricting your search words to ones that are more unique and/or closely related to your desired topic or area of interest.

The search looks for entire words and multiple words. The search does not respond well to special characters such as ampersands (&) or the at symbol (@); avoid them. There is no synonym or thesaurus function at this time.

A location must be specified by using a city name or postal code.

Results are displayed in a “most relevant” order, determined by the weighting each record was given behind the scenes according to how well it matched the words that were searched for. For ease of browsing the results, it is suggested that you rearrange the results by either distance or location.


Using the Organization Search function

This search retrieves agency records whose name or AKA (also known as) name contains the word(s) that have been requested in the search. A location is not required for this search.

This search finds organization names only; names of the programs offered by an organization are not retrieved with this search function. Use the service search function if looking for the name of a particular program.


Help with finding services
For further assistance with finding services, please contact one of our Information and Referral Specialists using one of the methods listed on our contact page.


Reporting inaccurate information
Please email updates@bc211.ca to report agency and program information that may be inaccurate and needs to be updated, and to let us know about services that are missing. In the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet, and Sunshine Coast regional districts, you can also phone 2-1-1 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or message us by texting the name of your city to 2-1-1 (8 am to 11 am PST, 7 days a week).

If the website is not functioning properly, please email webmaster@bc211.ca.


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