About 211 British Columbia

What is 211?

211 is a free and confidential service that connects people to helpful and vital resources in their community.

We provide information and referral to a broad range of community, government, and social services that assist with:

  • basic needs like food and shelter,
  • mental health and addictions support,
  • legal and financial assistance,
  • support for seniors, and much more.


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Throughout British Columbia, the 211 service is provided by 211 British Columbia Services Society (BC211) in partnership with the United Way and Government of British Columbia. BC211 is Vancouver-based, nonprofit that strengthens communities by connecting people to the help they need. 

BC211 is accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), and meets international standards relating to call response, privacy and confidentiality, and quality and accuracy of resources listed in the database. 

Visit our website to learn more.  


2020 - 211 service became available province-wide.  

- 211 phone service was expanded to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
- A new website was launched enabling province-wide online services.
- 211 webchat service was introduced. 

2015 - 211 text service was added. 
2014 - 211 phone service expanded to the Sunshine Coast Regional District. 
2010 - 211 British Columbia Services Society, operating under the name BC211, was officially launched, serving people in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts.  


BC211 originated in 1953 as Vancouver’s Community Information Service. In 1958, the first edition of the Directory of Health, Welfare and Recreation Services was published, and later became the Red Book. Published for many years and known as the go-to directory of social services in the Lower Mainland, the Red Book eventually evolved into BC211’s online database of resources.