The 211 number is the national abbreviated dialing code for access to community, social and government services information and referral. 211 is a free, multilingual, confidential service, accessible 24/7 to the entire population in communities with 211 services. In British Columbia, 211 (the full suite of phone/text and website) is currently available in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and Squamish Lillooet Regional Districts.
In June of 2017, nine other United Ways joined the bc211 movement & United Way Lower Mainland and expanded the online service bc211.ca to all British Columbians. The service directory database now includes over 13,000 current entries that document and describe services and organizations available to help people. The website is also optimized for mobile devices and online chat is available seven days a week from 8 am to 11 pm.
In March 2020, 211 expanded services to enable seniors to register for Better at Home volunteer services to assist with grocery shopping, check-in calls, meal prep and prescription pick-up. Volunteers are encouraged to register at BC211.ca