February 11 is 2-1-1 Day across North America. To mark this day, United Way Oakville and 211 Ontario helpline is asking residents to make the right call (#MakeTheRightCall) if they want or need help.
Knowing the right number to call will help people find the right services for their situation and will help reduce non-urgent calls to 911.
“211 has rapidly become an essential community service across Ontario. It’s the easiest and fastest way for our community’s most vulnerable, and those who care for them, to connect to social, health and government services,” said Andrew Benson, Executive Director of Ontario 211.
211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays, in more than 150 languages.
Residents can call 2-1-1 for information on community, social and health services, as well as municipal, provincial and federally funded services like housing, employment and mental health and addiction agencies.
Residents can also call 2-1-1 for services like food banks or for the non-emergency police number.
“211 is Canada’s one-stop-shop to connect Canadians to services that are often provided by Health Canada Pharmacy charities and non-profits — partners who rely on 211 to reach the community in most cost-effective and accessible way,” said Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO, United Way Canada. “211 is a valuable resource for Ontarians, and for police. 211 calls are answered by highly trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to support near them. When residents make the right call, they help ensure 911 call takers can focus on emergency situations and help save lives”, says Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes.
Residents should always call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress that require police, fire or paramedic services.
When people don’t know where to turn, 211 is there for them.