FAQs about 211 and the 211 Expansion
What is 211?
211 is Canada’s primary source of information for government and community-based, non-clinical health and social services. The free and confidential service can be accessed 24 hours a day, in more than 150 languages, by phone, chat, text, and web. 211 helps connect people to the right information and services, making their pathway to care and resources a guided and trusted one.
211 is available by phone, chat, website, and text in different regions – dial 2-1-1 to connect to community services.
How is 211 Expanding?
211 has been available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and most of Quebec.
With new funding from the Federal government, 211 is now available in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In Quebec, services are available in the Greater Montreal area, and in the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches area, with plans to roll out online and chat service across the province in November.
I tried to call 211 on my Phone but it didn’t work. Why?
Starting 211 in a new region is a huge undertaking. Getting “211” to actually work on your phone requires government and telephone company interventions.
There are now hundreds of telephone operators across the country (including internet-based ones) and we have to work with each one to get 211 to redirect to the right place. We had amazing cooperation to get 211 ready for October 15th but there are still some telephone operators that haven’t made the switch.
If you are having trouble reaching us through “211” please let us know, using our Contact page. Tell us the number you called from and your telephone provider (Rogers, Bell, MTS, Versature, etc.).
Are there Alternate Ways to Reach 211?
Yes, you can reach us by direct, toll-free, numbers and by email. Please review your options here.
What Languages are Available in the 211 Expansion regions?
211 staff speak dozens of languages and we are committed to serving callers in their own language whenever possible. While English and French are the most common languages of our callers, when someone requires help in a language we don’t have on staff at that moment we bring in live interpreters, into the phone call, to facilitate the conversation.
In the new 211 regions of Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador and New Brunswick we can call on partners at the LanguageLine and MCIS to provide interpretation in over 150 languages. 24 hours a day.
What type of Services does 211 Refer to?
211 refers to thousands of services each year and our directories cover well over 100,000 entries. However, not every service or agency can be listed in 211’s databases. You can learn about our Inclusion policy here.
How do I add my Agency to 211?
There are already thousands of agencies and services in the 211 database across Canada, however, things are always changing. If you have information about changes to existing services or want to alert us to a new or missing service please let us know. Find out more here.