Organizations and businesses across Canada are celebrating 211 Day today by turning their lights red to raise awareness and share this incredible resource with as many people as possible. Locally, the Canada Life Building, London Convention Centre, RBC Place, City Hall and the JA Taylor Building will join 38 other local landmarks across the country as they raise awareness for this important, free, 24/7 service that puts help at the tip of your fingers.
Reaching out for help is often the first step, but what happens if you don’t know where to turn? That’s where 211 comes in.
For more information you can visit 211.ca or call the line directly at 2-1-1
211 is a nationwide telephone service available 24 hours a day for individuals looking for non-emergency related support. It is free, confidential and helps people navigate the network of government and community support programs available. Callers reach live Navigators who help them get connected to the resources and support they need for their unique situations.
Navigators are highly trained individuals who know how to ask the right questions to fully assess a person’s need. Many callers are often connected with resources they didn’t even know exist, and will call back looking for more support as additional questions arise. In fact, last year in our region alone 4,754 individuals reached out for help through 211 for issues relating to health, housing, income support, mental health resources, addictions and many more.
United Way Elgin Middlesex has been a proud partner in offering this award-winning service in our region for over a decade. The program launched across London and Middlesex County on October 21, 2011, with an expansion of services into St. Thomas and Elgin County following shortly after in December of that same year.
And it’s no surprise that as of October 15, 2020, the Government of Canada, in partnership with United Way Centraide Canada, announced funding to activate this service nationwide. The government also announced additional funding at that time to support existing 211 services experiencing a surge in demand due to pandemic related causes.