BC211 is a confidential, multilingual telephone, texting and online service for all BC residents. 211 and BC211.ca provide free information and referral to a full range of community, social, and government services, and operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

What is BC211?

BC211 is a phone and online information service that provides up-to-date, reliable information regarding community, social, non-clinical health and government services. The service directory database includes over 13,000 current entries that document and describe services and organizations that can help people in their time of need. The website is optimized for mobile devices and online chat is available seven days a week from 8 am to 11 pm. Some examples of common search topics include:

  • Employment support
  • Legal assistance
  • Mental health and addiction services
  • Housing options including shelter locations
  • Seniors services
  • Children and youth programs, and much more
Visit bc211.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

On February 11, 2021, on 211 Day, these services were expanded to the entire nation. Anyone living anywhere in Canada can now pick up the phone and dial 2-1-1 to reach a Service Navigator for information on community-based health, social and government services in or near their community.

211 is for everyone…from individuals, families and professionals to community agencies, government and people facing barriers due to poverty or personal difficulty. 211 and bc211.ca will help anyone get information and access to vital community services within their local neighbourhood.

  • Single point of access for community, non-clinical health, government, and social services.
  • Simple for everyone, especially useful for vulnerable populations.
  • Reduces confusion, frustration, and unnecessary delay in reaching services.

In British Columbia, the 211 Information & Referral service is operated by the 211 British Columbia Services Society, a charitable non-profit organization funded by United Ways and through contracts with various partners.

bc211.ca benefits British Columbians of all ages. Examples of inquiries received by information and referral services include:

  • A senior citizen wanting home care support in order to live independently.
  • A homeless person seeking a shelter bed, or a place to get out of the cold and to have a hot meal.
  • A family facing eviction that doesn’t know where to turn for help.
  • A recent immigrant needing language and employment training.
  • A young mother worried about how to properly care for her newborn child.
  • A laid-off worker wanting to find out about employment insurance.
  • A family searching for child care services in their community or close to work.
  • A parent asking where to get food for her family.
  • A concerned neighbour trying to help a friend in an abusive relationship.
  • A family trying to find services for their son with a newly diagnosed illness.

United Way of Northern BC helps find solutions to community problems and funds a network of social service agencies throughout the province. 211 complements United Way’s role as a funder of community services by helping people connect to the services they need.

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