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AMHERST – Nova Scotians now have a single point of access to more than 3,000 government, community and social programs provincewide through the new 211 information and referral system.
The 211 service is live today, Feb. 11.
"There are Nova Scotians who are looking for information on resources to help them care for their children, their aging parents and themselves. 211 can help them find the right government service or community program when they need it," said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell.
In 2011, government committed $585,000 for start-up funding, which will gradually increase over the next five years to $945,000. 211 differs from other similar numbers in that it connects Nova Scotians to non-emergency government, community, and social programs and services.
"With the launch of 211, we've reached a major milestone on the path to connecting Nova Scotians with the community and social services they need, as soon as they need them," said Chuck Hartlen, chair of the 211 Nova Scotia board and senior vice-president, customer experience, Bell Aliant.
While the 211 service is confidential, it will serve a valuable role in gathering data and helping government and community planners identify any gaps in services.
"I've looked forward to this moment from the day I arrived at United Way," said Catherine Woodman, president and CEO of United Way Halifax Region. "Since 2002, we've been advocating for a 211 service. We brought together people and organizations from across the province to help make 211 a reality.”
211 is available in English, French and a variety of other languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Nova Scotians can access 211 by phone, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.ns.211.ca.