211 service accesses social services 

Feeling a little down? Need some direction to figure out precisely where to seek help? 211 may be just what you're looking for.

A new three-digit telephone service, BC 211 is a free, confidential, multilingual service available 24/7 for anyone seeking access to social, community and government services.

Launched in May, the service is being funded by United Way of Lower Mainland. The service is now offering help to residents of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, as well as Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and.

"The United Way of the Lower Mainland and BC 211 had worked on establishing the service for a few years," Myrna Holman, executive director of BC 211, said in an interview. "We had to apply for our 211 license and then work with all the telcos to set up the system, so people could simply dial 211 and get connected to our people who can connect them to the resources that they need."

211 connects callers with services and programs in their areas. Through a simple phone call, you can get information about over 10,000 social and government resources such as daycare, housing registries and resources for seniors. Anyone who picks up the phone is trained rigorously to learn the various resources that callers may be seeking.

"The 211 service will have a huge positive impact on people," United Way of British Columbia CEO Michael McKnight said in a news release. "It's exciting to know that by dialing three simple numbers, people will have access to someone who can help them find the services they need."




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