bc211 Phone and Text Launches on Vancouver Island

On September 18th, 211 phone and text service officially launched on Vancouver Island at the United Way Greater Victoria 2017 campaign kick-off event.

bc211 offers a confidential telephone, texting and online referral service connecting individuals to hundreds of community, social and government services. 211 is a free information and referral service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in over 160 languages. In spring of 2017, bc211 launched its online province-wide directory of community resources. Anyone in BC can go to bc211.ca to find community, social, non-clinical health and government services.

With the official launch, Vancouver Island residents can dial 2-1-1 and speak to bc211 staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to connect to community resources. Text service is also available throughout the Island, allowing residents to text the name of their city to 2-1-1 and connect with an information and referral specialist by text messaging. This service is available from 8 am to 11 pm, seven days a week.

Trained and certified bc211 information and referral specialists link people seeking assistance with a wide array of services such as addictions treatment, children’s and youth programs, employment programs, food banks, legal aid, mental health supports, newcomer services, shelter and housing, and senior services. bc211 also helps service providers find resources for their clients and provides information for caregivers seeking help for their loved ones.

bc211 Executive Director Nathan Wright at the Vancouver Island launch

The online bc211.ca service directory database currently holds over 12,000 resources that document and describe services and organizations available to help people. The website is optimized for mobile devices, and includes an online chat service, available every day from 8 am to 11 pm.

The new phone and texting options allow Island residents greater flexibility to find the help they need. For more information, check out this brief video in which Patricia Jelinski, President & CEO of United Way Greater Victoria, and City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps speak about 211:

And of course, you can visit bc211 online at www.bc211.ca.