The province is providing $510,000 to United Way Winnipeg for the continuation of a 24-hour service that protects Manitobans by connecting them to government, health and social services, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“The Manitoba government is proud to partner with United Way Winnipeg in support of 211 Manitoba, which provides low-barrier, personalized assistance and enables access to information on programs and services quickly and easily,” said Squires. “As we have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that we mobilize quickly and work together, and 211 is another tool to help us co-ordinate our efforts to protect Manitobans.”
The province is providing $510,000 to support the operation of the service for one year. Manitobans can dial 211 from anywhere in the province, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect with a community navigator who will help them find appropriate resources nearby. Individuals can also search the 211 website at https://mb.211.ca. The funding will help United Way Winnipeg provide online assistance, 24-7 phone services in more than 150 languages, outreach to service providers and marketing to create awareness of the service. The investment will also enable the agency to enhance the system with chat and text-based supports.
“United Way Winnipeg and our donors are so pleased to have the Manitoba government’s support in helping to ensure full-service 211 is available for all Manitobans,” said Connie Walker, president and CEO, United Way Winnipeg. “We know 211 is a valuable resource for Manitoba families, especially so during the pandemic. More than 6,500 Manitobans from across the province have been able to access the right help at the right time since the launch of 211 phone service in October.”
The minister noted 211 Manitoba is also a helpful tool for front-line professionals seeking additional supports and resources for their clients, and that it takes pressure off the system by directing appropriate resources to non-urgent situations and reducing the call burden on 911, 311 and Health Links–Info Santé.
The 211 website was launched in 2017, and the service was expanded to include a phone line in October 2020 to provide enhanced service during the COVID-19 crisis.
The 211 Manitoba service is part of the broader 211 Canada network (https://211.ca/). This co-ordinated national network allows individuals to look for local resources in communities across Canada and enables them to assist family members, friends and clients in other provinces.