211 is personal telephone access to information about the full range of social services offered in a local community. It is especially valuable to seniors, newcomers and persons with disabilities trying to navigate the maze of services delivered by multiple levels of government and private providers.How about in 2009 when we discussed Aliant agreeing to sponsor such a service and then Nova Scotia Minister Jamie Muir wanting to see more money from proponents on the table so the province wouldn't have to go it alone on the operating costs?
Today residents in large cities like Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as smaller cities such as Windsor, Niagara Falls and Simcoe have access to 211, 24-7. Callers always talk to people and never a machine. Three more 211 initiatives will launch in 2008 in Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Quebec City. The premier of British Columbia has recently announced the commitment to the first provincewide 211 service in the throne speech.
Or, for you relative newcomers to the blawg (or those with shorter memories), how about in 2011 when the government finally agreed to provide $585,000 to establish the system, along with some additional operational funding?
Well, I just thought I would let you know that what some might have thought was actually accomplished back in 2011 has finally come to fruition ... as in .... IT'S HERE! *
Families now have a single point of access to more than 3,000 government, community and social programs provincewide, thanks to government investment in the new 211 information and referral system, which went live on February 11.
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"With the launch of 211, we've reached a major milestone on the path to connecting Nova Scotians with the community and social services they need, as soon as they need them," said Chuck Hartlen, chair of the 211 Nova Scotia board and senior vice-president, customer experience, Bell Aliant. "Whether it's through 211's highly trained information specialists or the website, the service offers access to the most thorough database of community and socials services in Nova Scotia.
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211 is available in English, French and a variety of other languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Nova Scotians can access 211 by phone, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.ns.211.ca.You can read the whole thing here.
*Only 5 years later