Every year on February 11, the United Way of PEI celebrates 211 Day to raise awareness and highlight the importance of the 211 service in our communities. As the cost of living continues to rise, United Way’s 211 helpline has become more vital than ever for connecting Islanders to support. The pandemic, Hurricane Fiona, and mounting inflation have put many people in the position of needing support for the first time.
According to data collected by United Way Centraide Canada and 211 operators across the country, needs related to counseling services increased by 34% in the first 6 months of 2022 compared with the previous 6-month period. In addition, needs related to housing and food increased by 19% in the first 6 months of 2022, compared to the same 6-month period in 2021. In the aftermath of Fiona, 211 PEI responded to more than 6,000 calls for hurricane-related support.
As we continue to navigate this period of economic strain, 211’s role as Canada’s primary source of information on government and community-based, non-clinical health and social services is invaluable. Recently, as many community organizations go through major changes while on their journeys to recovery from Covid-19, 211 fills the gap to help people navigate the complex network of support. For example, after the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) ended, 211 saw an increase in calls as people sought ways to continue to receive financial support.
As the proud provider of 211 PEI, United Way’s goal is to increase awareness of the service so that people know where to turn for help. The 211 PEI database has an extensive inventory of PEI’s community and government programs and services, making it uniquely positioned to support emergency response and management efforts, and equitable recovery. Every day, the helpline provides personalized navigation support to Islanders.
“On 211 Day, United Way of PEI and our 211 team encourage Islanders to spread the word about this important service, and to remember that help starts with 211.” – Andrea MacDonald, CEO United Way of PEI
211 is a free, confidential service available 24/7 in over 150 languages. Islanders looking to access 211 can dial 2-1-1 from their mobile device or landline, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.pe.211.ca.