211 – When you don’t know where to turn

211 - When you don't know where to turn

United Way Perth-Huron is a Data Partner of 211 

What is 211?
211 is the information and referral service that provides the people of Ontario with reliable information on community and social services. When you dial the 211 hotline, you are connected with a Certified Information and Referral Specialist who has been trained to assess your needs, answer your questions accurately, and advise you about the services and programs that are best for you and your loved ones.

What is 211ontario.ca?
211Ontario.ca is your connection to information about community and social services in the province of Ontario. It is your first stop for information about child care, language classes, job searches, housing, emergency shelters, services for persons with disabilities, home support, legal assistance, financial assistance, and much more.

Most of the services listed on 211Ontario.ca are provided by non-profit, community-based or government organizations that provide a direct service to the public. However, you will find some private or commercial organizations that do not duplicate the work of non-profit, community and government organizations. Inclusion on 211Ontario.ca is free.

211Ontario.ca provides accurate and up-to-date information about services in a consistent format. Information on 211Ontario.ca is updated on an ongoing basis, and changes are verified with a spokesperson from each organization or program.

Is 211 available where I live?
211 is now available to all residents of Ontario.

Can I trust the information you give me?
Your call to 211’s telephone service will be answered by an Information and Referral Specialist who has been certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). AIRS is the international standards body for information and referral services and the specialists who answer your calls.

Calls to 211 are anonymous and confidential. Your personal identifying information will not be shared with any other parties. Many of the calls we receive deal with sensitive topics and we take your right to privacy very seriously.

The information you receive is updated at least once a year and in many cases more frequently. We receive our information directly from our partner agencies and services and we take great care to ensure its accuracy.

In 2010, an independent survey of 211 phone service users revealed that 89 percent of callers reported they were very satisfied with their experience and 93 percent felt they got the information they needed.

What kind of services can you tell me about?
With information from more than 56,000 services and agencies across the province of Ontario, we are able to provide assistance on a wide range of topics. These include, but are not limited to:

  • abuse (including sexual assault)
  • child and family services
  • consumer protection and complaints
  • emergency and crisis services
  • employment, education and training
  • financial assistance
  • food and clothing
  • general community services
  • government officials
  • health
  • homelessness
  • housing
  • legal issues
  • multicultural associations
  • seniors
  • settlement and newcomer services
  • youth services


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