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.

 

Just Posted

Former Kelowna hockey player dies after battle with ALS

Mitch Wilson was born in Kelowna and was 57 when he died

Toddler sustains serious injuries after falling from Rutland balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment on May 18

Witness says Kelowna man on trial for murder admitted to the killing

Steven Pirko is charged in the killing of Christopher Ausman in 2014

Bus pull returns to Kelowna with record 17 teams

Teams of eight people will pull a BC Transit bus for their community on May 25

Search for missing kayaker turned over to West Kelowna RCMP

A 71-year-old man’s kayak floated ashore on Friday

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

North Okanagan tests out two $10/day childcare sites

Katrine Conroy came to Vernon to tour universal child care prototype sites, including the one at Maven Lane

Penticton sets cap of 14 cannabis stores, removes buffer zone

The city previously relied on a buffer zone and scoring matrix to limit number of stores

Bucking bulls return to Okanagan raceway Sunday

Bull Riders Canada returns to the South Okanagan with some of the top riders in Canada

Okanagan city to give out fines for sitting on sidewalk

Residents of Penticton will soon be fined for sitting or laying on sidewalks

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read