Press release

For immediate broadcast

                               Happy 1-year Anniversary to 211 Greater Montréal!

Montréal, April 26th, 2019 - «Today is a celebration for the 211 team who have been providing the 211 service over the past year to citizens of Greater Montréal. What a long way we have come! Since launching 211 Greater Montréal, the population of 88 cities of Greater Montréal and the outside areas are now served by 211, representing about 4 million citizens. We are very proud of the work that has been accomplished because we know that a human voice at the other end of the line, properly discerning the social needs of people and referring them to the appropriate resources that can meet those needs, can make all the difference to many people who need a hand during their most vulnerable times. The 211 service means ongoing support from 8 am to 6 pm every day, 365 days per year that helps seniors, caregivers or families going through difficult times. », stated Mrs. Pierrette Gagné, Executive Director, Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal, 211 manager. The 211 web site,, has also gained popularity over the last year.

« 211 is important for citizens, as well as, social and community organizations», emphasized Mrs. Lili-Anna Pereša, President and Executive Director for Centraide of Greater Montreal, IRCGM partner from the start in implementing 211. « Its role is undeniable in improving the living conditions of people and thus strengthening the social fabric of communities and living environments. », she explained.


From April 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2019, 211 counsellors received 35 637 requests via telephone and e-mail and referred 100 080 organizations. The average wait time for speaking to a counsellor was 50 seconds.

67,53% of calls were from women whereas 32,47% were from men. 55% of callers were over 50 years old.

As for the web site, there was 488 300 visits and 1 267 862 views.


Social needs

Among the expressed needs, many callers requested material and housing assistance, followed by food assistance and services for seniors. Among the un-met needs, when an organization cannot meet a need for various reasons, the most frequent were for transportation-accompaniment, movers and help at home.

The success of 211 in its first year was largely due the collaboration from community organizations who suggested improvements to our service and who shared any changes to their services. This reliable and up-to-date data, has enabled the 211 team to provide a professional, empathic and conscientious service to people in need.

According to Mrs. Gagné, «The support from cities and municipalities was and remains essential in developing 211 by ensuring that it continues to meet the needs expressed in the field. Our biggest wish now that 211 has been implemented and supported by the majority of CMM municipalities, is to not only be able to carry on but also to innovate by adding new platforms and by refining its social analysis tool. »


 Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal

The Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal (IRCGM) provides bilingual social and community information and referrals to Greater Montréal citizens and counsellors, either by telephone, online or through printed directories. It also manages the 211 Greater Montréal service, two addiction helplines: Drugs: Help and Referral and Gambling: Help and Referral, as well as, the TeleCounseling programme for excessive gamblers.


Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is active within the territories of Laval, Montréal and the South Shore. Nearly 57 000 volunteers are involved within some 350 organizations it supports and 22 000 volunteers devote their time to organizing its annual campaign. In Québec, Centraide is present in 18 regions and receives support from companies, private, public and para-public institutions, as well as, unions. Every year, they establish 1 600 campaigns within the workplace. The funds raised are locally distributed in order to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion.




Marie Vaillant
Director of Communications
Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal

Telephone: 514-527-1388, ext. 215


Annick Gagnon
Public Relations Advisor
Centraide of Greater Montreal
Telephone: 514-288-1261, ext. 242