211 Day increases awareness of valuable service in KFL&A
In 2021,211 answered more than 17,000 calls, text, chats or emails from local residents
Kingston, February 9, 2022 – February 11 is 211 Day across North America, a day for United Way, 211 service providers and their supporters to raise awareness of this valuable service in the community.
211 launched in Kingston and the surrounding area in 2010. Locally funded by the United Way of KFL&A and the City of Kingston, 211 helps residents in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington connect with the right services at the right time, providing an important gateway to community, social, non-clinical health, and related government services.
“The 211 service helps people learn about government, community and support programs, including all the programs supported by United Way,” said Bhavana Varma, President and CEO of United Way KFL&A. “211 is a lifeline for those difficult life circumstances anyone of us might encounter. Our community and government agencies offer many services. 211 addresses one of the challenges people face, helping them know where to turn.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of 211. With government programs changing regularly, and community-based programs and services adapting to meet evolving public health guidelines, 211 helps people navigate the complex network of support.
Calls, texts, chats and emails to 211 increased by 17% in 2021, with Community Navigators answering more than 350,000 inquiries from Ontarians looking for help finding information, programs, services or government supports. In KFL&A, over 17,000 individuals were helped last year.
“The pandemic has put many people in the position of needing support for the first time in their lives,” added Varma. “They can dial 2-1-1 and talk to somebody who can help them sort through information to figure out what will work for their unique situation.”
211 Day reminds residents how to ’make the right call’. Encouraging people to dial 2-1-1 for non-emergency services can help reducing congestion on 911 dispatch lines,and helping to ensure they are accessing the right type of assistance.
On February 11, 2022, United Way and 211 are encouraging more people to learn about this valuable service.
211 is Canada’s primary source of information for government and community-based 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. Visit 211.ca for more information.
Canadians 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.
About United Way KFLA
United Way Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington works closely with the community to ensure that people have the opportunity to reach their full potential and live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. This vision is realized by building on deep-rooted local community knowledge and relationships to empower people to make an impact.
Led by volunteers, driven by a small professional staff team, the United Way KFL&A provides inspiring opportunities for people to get involved and support issues they care about through volunteering, giving and being advocates for people who are in vulnerable situations.
Mandy Pasch, Director, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A