211 celebrates 10 years in Bruce Grey

Monday, February 11th was 211 Day across North America. To mark the day, United Way of Bruce Grey and the 211 Ontario helpline celebrated 10 years of 211. On February 11th 2009, 211 was launched in the Bruce Grey region giving information and referral service 24-7 to every resident. 211 was established to become the “front-door” to community, social, health, and government services

Locally, 211 is supported through the United Way of Bruce Grey, Grey County, Bruce County and the Province of Ontario.

On Monday, 211 Ontario also launched the ability to chat with a 211 Specialist online at www.211ontario.ca.

Knowing the right number to call or chat with, will help people find the right programs and services for their situation and reduce non-urgent calls to 911. Residents should always call 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency, when a property is in danger, a crime is in progress that requires the police, fire or paramedics.

Financial assistance and housing have consistently represented the top 2 needs presented by residents of both Bruce County and Grey County who are calling 211.

211 also provides intake support for the United Way’s Backpack Program and Utility Assistance Program. Over 3 400 intakes for Backpacks since 2009 and 3 200 household intakes for the Utility Assistance Program since 2011 have been processed by the 211 system.

In addition to celebrating 10 years of the 211 service in Bruce Grey Making Grey Bruce Home, is launching its online Newcomer Support Hub at www.newcomersbrucegrey.ca Making Grey Bruce Home is a project of the United Way of Bruce Grey in partnership with the Grey Bruce Welcoming Communities Committee.

This Hub provides 211’s information, with a customized data-set, in 25 of the most common languages in the region. This website is an interactive virtual information resource portal, known as the “Newcomer Hub”, through which vulnerable newcomers, sponsors, service providers, volunteers, and the public can access and share up-to-date information, stories, resources, links, coming events, new approaches, celebrations, and innovations in a variety of languages. Supported by the expansive 211 system and database, the Hub will evolve over time as it is utilized by the community, to meet the needs of newcomers in our community.