211 expands to all of Canada after calls increase by 30 percent during the pandemic

The service will now be available to all Canadians in need of help navigating government and community social services

Why It Matters

Calls to 211, a now-national helpline connecting Canadians to government and community social services, has increased by 30 percent during the pandemic. The need for clear, accurate, and compassionate information about social support is as pressing as ever — and a national 211 expansion means thousands more Canadians will have this need met.

Our coverage of this topic is made possible by a partnership with United Way Centraide Canada.

211, a helpline connecting Canadians to government and community-based social services, is expanding to all of Canada, the organization announced Thursday. 

Until now, the phone service was available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and most of Quebec. But thanks to funding from the federal government, as part of its $350 million emergency support fund for charities and non-profits announced in April, everyone in Canada with access to a phone will now be able to reach 211. The service is free, confidential, and available in 150 languages. 

The expansion comes after a steep increase in demand for the service during the pandemic — calls to existing 211 services shot up by 31 percent, and website visits inc

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