211 Day – make the right call

Dial 3 numbers and find the help you need

211 Day
211 Day – make the right call
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Brenda Dushko

Brenda Dushko

Brenda Dushko is the Manager, Fund Development & Communication for the Oakville Milton Humane Society. A graduate of Sheridan College, Brenda has over 10 years in Fund Development for animal welfare and arts related charities.

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February 11 is 211 Day across North America. To mark this day, the United Way Halton & Hamilton (UWHH) and the 211 Ontario helpline is asking residents to make the right call.

If they want or need non-emergency help dial 2-1-1. Today, 211 also launched the ability to chat with a 211 Specialist online at www.211ontario.ca.

Knowing the right number to call or chat with helps people. They find the right programs and services for their situation. It also reduces non-urgent 9-1-1 calls.

Implementing chat meets the needs of residents who expect to find help online.

“The 211 service helps make our communities social services more visible and accessible to those in need, including all the programs we fund. However, job losses and the growth of part-time employment means residents lose the help of employee assistance programs and the benefits that those with good jobs have,” said UWHH president and CEO, Brad Park.

“211 is a lifeline for the most challenging life changes residents experience,” stated Mr. Park.

“Ontario’s health and social services are experiencing significant changes, and it is a huge challenge for the non-profit sector to make updated information about programs and services accessible to their communities,” said Karen Milligan, Executive Director, Ontario 211 Services.

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“It’s a misconception that all this information can be found by search engines easily. 211’s trained and professional staff not only gather and validate information about services and eligibility, they help people navigate the system and connect to the most appropriate supports for their situation through the phone and online chat service”, continued Karen.

211’s experts make sense of social, health and government services information. This information is often buried on old websites, social media channels, e-newsletters and spread through their network of partners and community leaders.

211 reduces barriers to accessing the help people need.

Top 5 Reasons for calling 211

Navigating health, government, housing, legal & public safety services and finding the right helpline or information service.

Dialing 2-1-1, a three-digit number, or chatting online with 211 at www.211ontario.ca, connects residents to the 211 helpline to find help for life’s twists and turns.

Residents should always call 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency, when a property is in danger or a crime is in progress that requires the police, fire or paramedics.

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