211: A service for citizens now available on the Greater Montréal territory
The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal and Centraide of Greater Montreal launched the 211 service today that is now available on the metropolitan area.
“The citizens of Greater Montréal had already access to the 211qc.ca website since January 2018. The 211 phone line is now in service. This complete deployment of the 211 service in the Greater Montréal area is an important step, notably with the financial contribution of the 82 municipalities of the CMM. Each citizen of the metropolitan region needing help may now obtain free and trustworthy information and references on community resources. By contributing together to the implementation of the 211 service, we are bearing witness to our social solidarity and the inclusiveness of Greater Montréal,” declared Mrs. Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal.
To Mrs. Pierrette Gagné, Executive Director of the Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal, the organization accredited with deploying and operating 211, this is a very happy occasion. “A true hub of information and social referral for 61 years, IRCGM and its team can finally witness the culmination of this project which began many years ago. Thanks to our determination and resilience, we have now concretely met our objective of making our info-referral service even more accessible with an easy-to-remember telephone number and a user-friendly Web site that enables anyone at any time to search for and find the resource necessary for them.”
Mrs. Gagné wishes to thank the partners of 211 Greater Montréal for their contribution: Centraide of Greater Montreal, the Ministère de la Famille du Québec and the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal. “Your support to this project made its implementation possible and we can only thank you, once again, for your constant commitment,” concluded Mrs. Gagné.
Mrs. Lili-Anna Pereša, President and Executive Director of Centraide Greater Montreal and IRCGM partner in the 211 deployment from the very beginning, believes that “the importance of 211 for citizens, as well as, social and community organizations is undeniable. Food, housing or fighting isolation among seniors, just to name a few issues, are important needs in the metropolitan area. 211 has the tools on hand to easily help people break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion by guiding them towards appropriate resources”.
In Québec, 211 has been implemented for almost ten years in Capitale-Nationale, the Chaudière-Appalaches region and MRC La Haute-Yamaska. In Greater Montréal, the City of Laval was the first municipality to implement 211 in 2016, followed by MRC de L’Assomption and MRC Thérèse-De-Blainville in 2017. MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges also implemented 211 in December 2017. Other Montérégie municipalities will join the ranks by the end of 2018, which will mean that more than 50% of Québec’s population will have access to this essential service. It is operational in many large Canadian cities.
It was in 2001 that InformCanada, the Canadian coalition of information and referral centres, and Centraide/United Way Canada were granted, by the CRTC, the rights to retain the 211 telephone number for Canadian community information and referral centres. InformCanada and Centraide/United Way have since been responsible for granting 211 licences, as well as establishing quality standards.
The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal
The Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) is a planning, coordinating and funding organization created in 2001 that brings together 82 municipalities, totalling close to 4 million people spread over more than 4,360 km2. CMM carries out responsibilities with regards to land development, economic development, social housing, public transportation, environment, as well as, municipal services, equipment, infrastructure and activities.
The Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal
The Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montréal offer bilingual social and community information and referrals to Greater Montréal citizens and counsellors, either by telephone, online or through printed directories. It also manages the 211 service, the Referral Helpline for Seniors, two support, information and referral helplines: Drugs: Help and Referral and Gambling: Help and Referral, as well as, the TeleCounseling program for compulsive gamblers.
Centraide of Greater Montreal
Centraide of Greater Montreal is active within the territories of Laval, Montréal and the South Shore. Nearly 57,000 volunteers are involved within some 350 organizations it supports and 22,000 volunteers devote their time to organizing its annual campaign. In Québec, Centraide is present in 18 regions and receives support from companies, private, public and para-public institutions, as well as, unions. The funds raised are locally distributed to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion.