211: a simple tool in obtaining information that can help
In order to make its information and referral services more accessible to citizens, the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal (IRCGM) is aiming for the implementation of a 211 service in 2016 on the whole of the Greater Montréal Territory and the Montréal Metropolitan Community (MMC). Whether it's for affordable housing, food assistance, healthservices, training, medical transportation or at home help etc., with 211, the IRCGM will be able to guide people more quickly to appropriate resources that can respond to their needs.
The City of Laval is the first municipality of the MMC to deploy the 211 service in its territory. You can visit the 211 website at www.211qc.ca.
211 is a centralized information service with easy access for those looking for community andpublic services, for people facing obstacles, as well as, professionals working within health and social services and other government agencies, companies and in the community.
211 will unfold in two parts:
IRCGM will provide, via web site, continuous and reliable access to its database, grouping almost 5000 socio-community resources in the metropolitan territory.
In addition, thanks to an easy to remember telephone number, 2-1-1, citizens will easily be able to phone our counsellors in order to find the resources and services that they need.
211: a service that will be available 70 hours/7 days, 365 days per year, including holidays.
Its implementation will favour preventative interventions, as well as, better use of existing socio-community and public services. Both counsellors and documentation agents must be certified in order to respond to requests for help. Its multilingual service will enable newcomers to have better access to resources.
211: an efficient tool that helps find help.
The implementation of 211 in the Greater Montréal Area (GMA) is becoming more and more necessary, considering the changing needs, notably, the increase of an aging population, immigrants and impoverished people. Let us note that the population of the GMA is estimated to be more than 3.7 million, which is more than half (51%) of Québec's population.
This service helps to fight poverty and social exclusion by enabling people to quickly access the resources they need and therefore find the solutions for getting themselves out of difficult situations. It will further enable them to get in touch with their ability to turn their situations around and improve their living conditions, which in turn, will improve the fabric of the community.
For the managers of public and government resources, 211 will become a reliable statistical tool for finding out the met and unmet needs in the Greater Montréal Area.
211: a tool that is widespread in Canada, but little known in Québec
In Canada, 211 is implemented in the majority of big cities: Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Halifax, Regina and Ottawa.
Furthermore, 211 is already implanted in 7 Canadian provinces: Ontario, Québec, Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.
211: created in the United States, adopted in Canada
211 was established in the US in 1996 and today, more than 246 million Americans (89% of the population) in 47 states have access to it.
211 is an initiative of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), which groups of North American referral centres and of which the IRCGM is part of, and the United Way of America.
It was in 2001 that InformCanada, which groups the Canadian information and referral centres, obtained authorization from the CRTC to reserve the 211 telephone number for Canadian I & R community centres. InformCanada, United Way Canada and Centraide have since been responsible for the deployment and quality control of 211 centres across country. Let us note that IRCGM is a founding member of InformCanada.
Centraide du Grand Montréal, loyal partner of IRCGM since the beginning, is the co-creator of the 211 project.