Sometimes, it feels like there’s no one to turn to.

Have you ever been concerned about a challenge overwhelming a friend, neighbour, family member – or even yourself? Do you know someone who needs help caring for a senior, dealing with an addiction, struggling with a language barrier, or battling homelessness?

There are hundreds of programs and services available across our region to help people with a wide variety of issues – but where do you start?

Imagine you could simply call, send a text, email or go online to reach a navigator who could map out which services would be the best option for you. Imagine this navigator was available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in over 160 languages, and was completely confidential and free.

Well, you may be surprised to learn that this service already exists. It’s called bc211 and it has an award-winning track record. 211 has been in operation in other provinces across Canada and throughout the United States for many years. bc211 began in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Squamish, Sunshine Coast and Lillooet regions – and as of 2017, it is now available on Vancouver Island. With your help, we can promote this transformational technology and ensure bc211’s services continue to grow across our region.

At United Way Greater Victoria, we know the depth and breadth of services available in our community. So we can truly empathize with anyone having to navigate such a complex array of offerings when dealing with an immediate or chronic issue. bc211 services help individuals and community service providers access what they need, when they need it.

To grow and sustain bc211 on the island, we need your help. Please join us in answering the call.

Please read our FAQ and contact Marg Rose at 250-220-7365 or for more information.

BY THE NUMBERS 2016 (based on statistics for the Lower Mainland)

bc211 Impact

  • bc211 coverage reaches 60% of the population of BC
  • 63,000 referrals to community agencies for help
  • BC Community Services Society, the agency that manages bc211, has 63 years of proven service in information and referral to 600,000 British Columbians
  • Help offered in over 160 different languages and dialects
Front view Smartphone isolated on white


• 53,528 incoming calls or texts answered

• 28,181 calls related to housing

• 2016 top two reasons for calling: Housing/homelessness & substance abuse

• 58% are female

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• 276,000 online visits to community resources directory

• 13,000 services listed on

• 6,000 average users per week


With the support of generous lead donors, United Way Greater Victoria has funded the expansion of and the launch of phone and text services for Vancouver Island residents. We are extremely grateful for the support of these loyal donors and community leaders. Thank you!

John and Catherine Windsor
TELUS Victoria Community Board

Black Press
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group
Kathy and Keith MacPhail
ALACS Fund through Victoria Foundation
Clint and Carole Forster
John McEown
Edward Jones Foundation and local Financial Advisors and staff
Berwick Retirement Communities through Chris Denford

Peter and Helen Malcolm
Salt Spring Island Foundation
Beverly Unger