Today is 2-1-1 Day!

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To mark this day, United Way Sault Ste. Marie and District and 211 Ontario helpline is asking residents to make the right call (#MakeTheRightCall) if they want or need help. Knowing the right number to call will help people find the right services for their situation and will help reduce non-urgent calls to 911. “211 has rapidly become an essential community service across Ontario. It’s the easiest and fastest way for our community’s most vulnerable, and those who care for them, to connect to social, health and government services,” said Andrew Benson, Executive Director of Ontario 211. 211 is answered live, 24 hours a day, every day of the year including holidays, in more than 150 languages. Residents can call 2-1-1 for information on community, social and health services, as well as municipal, provincial and federally funded services like housing, employment, mental health and addiction agencies. Residents can also call 2-1-1 for services like food banks or for the non-emergency police number. “211 is Canada’s one-stop-shop to connect Canadians to services that are often provided by charities and non-profits — partners who rely on 211 to reach the community in most cost-effective and accessible way,” said Dr. Jacline Nyman, President and CEO, United Way Canada. “211 is a valuable resource for Ontarians, and for police. 211 calls are answered by highly trained specialists who know our community services and can refer callers to support near them. When residents make the right call, they help ensure 911 call takers can focus on emergency situations and help save lives”, says Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Vince Hawkes. Residents should always call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies or crimes in progress that require police, fire or paramedic services. When people don’t know where to turn, 211 is there for them. A video about the service and Sault Ste. Marie’s participation can be viewed here. Background information EXAMPLES OF NON-URGENT CALLS THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE GONE TO 911: My car won’t start and I have to get to work… My neighbour is having a party and there is too much noise… I need the fire department to come and get my basketball out of the tree… I am lonely and want to hear a friendly voice… I need help getting my teenager to listen to me… I have a medical appointment and don’t have transportation to get there… Call 211 to find any health, social or government services that serve your community. [author ] About United Way The United Way of Sault Ste. Marie has a proud 58-year history of helping people as an independent non-profit organization. United Way funding is invested in our community to help create systemic changes to key human and social issues. Employment, Health, Youth Concerns and Poverty were identified as the most important critical social issues that need to be addressed to create a stronger and healthier community. About 211 211 is the source Canadians trust when seeking information and services to deal with life’s challenges. 211’s award-winning telephone helpline (2-1-1) and website provide a gateway to community, social, non-clinical health and related government services. 211 helps to navigate the complex network of human services quickly and easily, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages. 211 service in Ontario is made possible through the support of local United Ways, municipalities and Ontario’s Ministry of Community and Social Services. Ontario 211 Services is a non-profit agency that governs 211 service in Ontario. They work in collaboration with seven Regional 211 Service Providers, and a unique network of data contributors to deliver 211 services though the phone and through online channels to all Ontario residents.[/author]  

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