One year ago, bc211 arrived on Vancouver Island to answer the call for help. Funded by United Way, bc211 is an up-to-date reliable gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and government services. Free, confidential help is available 24/7, 365 days a year by calling or texting 211 or by searching online at bc211.ca. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

One year ago, bc211 arrived on Vancouver Island to answer the call for help. Funded by United Way, bc211 is an up-to-date reliable gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and government services. Free, confidential help is available 24/7, 365 days a year by calling or texting 211 or by searching online at bc211.ca. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Police and fire departments praise free 24/7 helpline

One year anniversary of bc211 arrival on Vancouver Island

One year ago today, bc211 arrived on Vancouver Island. Funded by United Way, bc211 is a free, confidential way to access community, social, non-clinical health and government services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling or texting 211 or by searching online at bc211.ca.

“United Way Greater Victoria is really proud that today is the one year anniversary of bc211 coming to the Island,” said Jennifer Young, United Way Greater Victoria communications director. “Our donors made this possible.”

United Way met up with the Oak Bay Police and Oak Bay Fire Departments this morning to mark the occasion and to help help raise awareness of the service by putting window decals on police cars and some fire vehicles.

bc211 is a convenient resource for first responders and the people they serve to access non-emergency help on a wide range of topics from employment and financial support, to mental health and addiction services to supports for seniors.

“We are just so happy and pleased to support the 211 initiative by United Way. So many times we are called to situations where people are in crisis or people are in need – this could be any time of the day or night,” said Police Chief Andy Brinton. “There may not be an immediate need to transport somebody to the hospital but there is clearly a need. Having a resource like 211…just gives us a sense that we aren’t leaving these people alone.”

In the last year, there have been 12,237 web searches of bc211.ca and 1,757 phone calls made to bc211. The top reasons for connecting with bc211 are housing and homelessness, mental health, health, income and financial assistance, and substance use.

“Our position is very firm on our operational procedures with regards to not leaving someone alone in a time of need so this gives us that phone call that gets us direct access 24/7 to some kind of service whatever that service might be to help support the residents,” said Fire Chief Dave Cockle.

bc211 operators can be reached 24/7 by simply dialing 2-1-1 from any phone on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and the Lower Mainland (Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet, and Sunshine Coast Regional Districts). Service is available in over 160 languages.

The online resource directory at www.bc211.ca contains over 13,000 records that document and describe a wide range of government, community, and social service programs across BC. The results are displayed on a map with agency/program details below so you can find the place nearest you.

For more information of the services got to bc211.ca.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bc211oak bay police

 

Police and fire departments praise free 24/7 helpline

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read