211 approaches four years of service
211 started operation in June 2010 to a lukewarm reception at first.
United Way officials launched an information campaign in the system’s first year of operation.
United Way Executive Director Ryan Erb says 211 has taken off in the past year with a 22 percent increase in call volume compared to 2012.
He points out that most of callers are looking for information on assistance with home utility bills, income and financial assistance, and health.
Erb mentions that the United Way followed up with a core sample of 211 users and found the overall approval rating of the system was 9.6 out of 10.
He says 82 percent of callers got the information they needed and that all respondents said they would use 211 again.
The system draws on information from over 56,000 services across Ontario and is also available on the Internet and through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Erb says the 211 network is becoming national in nature as more of the country is covered.
The 211 information system was recently allocated a share of $365,000 from the United Way’s 2013 fundraising campaign.
By Peter Jackson, 104.9 the Beach, May 14, 2014