News release

Government Investment In 211 Helps Families Connect To Communities

NOTE: A social-media version of this release with hi-res, downloadable photos, audio and video clips, is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2013-02-11-211-Service/ .

Families now have a single point of access to more than 3,000 government, community and social programs provincewide, thanks to government investment in 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, on behalf of Premier Darrell Dexter. "Through 211, government is keeping its commitment to make life better for families."

Cape Breton Nova MLA Gordie Gosse will attend an event celebrating the 211 service in Cape Breton on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and will speak about the benefits the program will have for people in rural areas.

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. "Whether it's through 211's highly trained information specialists or the website, the service offers access to the most thorough database of community and socials services in Nova Scotia.

"It's a great, collaborative system that will save valuable time for the organizations involved, and, most importantly, for Nova Scotians who call in looking for help."

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.

"From now on, Nova Scotians don't have to struggle through a complex network of services and service providers to find the help that is available. Help is literally now at our fingertips."

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 info@ns.211.ca, or online at ns.211.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Families now have a single point of access to more than 3,000 government, community and social programs provincewide, thanks to government investment in the new 211 information and referral system.

The 211 service is live today (February 11th).

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, on behalf of Premier Darrell Dexter, says there are Nova Scotians who are looking for information on resources to help them care for their children, their aging parents or themselves. 211 can help them find the right government service or community program when they need it.

For more information, visit n-s dot 2-1-1 dot c-a.

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Media Contacts:

Susan Tate
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-0112 E-mail:
Gary Andrea
Executive Council Office 902-456-6196 E-mail: