What is 211?

211 is an easy to remember (2-1-1) information and referral service available 7 days a week, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 3:30 pm, 365 days a year, which will eventually be open 24 hours a day.

211 Community resources directory is also available on the web. In collaboration with community organizations, all information on social and community resources is updated annually.

With the help of statistics from calls and web frequency, 211 sheds a light to government officials and decision-makers on social needs and in determining missing resources that are needed.

An essential service

211 service helps curb poverty and social exclusion, giving the people with non-urgent social needs rapid information on the social and community resources that will help them find solutions to move beyond their precarious situations.

211 is a free service, largely accessible especially for low-income people, seniors and newcomers.

211 is an ally of other N11 services:

  • 2-1-1: Information and referral on community, public and parapublic services
  • 3-1-1: City services and its districts
  • 8-1-1: Info-Santé (option 1) — information on health, and Info-Social (option 2) — psychosocial interventions
  • 9-1-1: Emergency

211 in Québec

211 is implemented in Québec since 2008 in the Capitale-Nationale and the Chaudière-Appalache regions, and since 2012 in the MRC Haute-Yamaska. These regions are served by the Centre d'information et de référence de la Capitale Nationale et de Chaudière-Appalaches.

In the Greater Montréal, 211 was launched in Laval in October 2016, and since December 2016, the 211 Web service for Montréal is available. In the spring of 2017, 211 will be implemented in the MRC de l’Assomption and it is hoped that before the end of the year 2017, on the Metropolitan Community of Montréal area. These regions are served by the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal.

211 in Canada

The 211 licence was reserved by the CRTC for Canadian information and referral centres in  2001.  InformCanada,  that regroups the Canadian information and referral centres, and United Way/ Centraide Canada received from the CRTC the authorization to reserve a 211 phone number for the Canadian information and referral centres.

211 is already implanted in 7 Canadian provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, ManitobaOntario, Québec and Nova Scotia. Pilot projects are also in progress in New Brunswick and Nunavut.

Finally, 211 is in operation in the United States since 1996 and today more than 246 million Americans (90% of the population), in 50 states, have access to its service.