Connecting People to Community Resources
United Way BC Helpline Services offers live call, text, and webchat services that empower people by providing information about local programs and supports.
We provide information and referral services through specialized helplines to support community and government programs.
Our Community Resource Specialists answer our helplines 24/7, 365 days a year, by way of call, text, email, and webchat.
Interpretation in over 240 languages and dialects is available by phone.
2) Community Resource Listings
Our comprehensive community resource database contains information about programs and services available across BC and Yukon that help people address needs such as food, financial assistance, health, employment, shelter, and more. The criteria for inclusion can be found here.
A self-serve version of our database is available to the public at bc.211.ca
3) Data Analysis
Our aggregate data includes information about community services (resource records); the needs of individuals seeking help (contact data); community needs that are not being met by exiting resources; and historical trends.
Federal, provincial, and municipal decision-makers use our data to help inform decisions about community investments and refinements to programs and services.
All our helplines are free, confidential, operate 24/7/365, with interpretation available for callers in over 240 languages and dialects.
211 British Columbia
Help starts here. Dial or text 2-1-1 to be connected with a Resource Navigator who will provide information and referral to available social, government, and community supports and services that can help with:
- basic needs like food and shelter,
- mental health and addictions support,
- legal and financial assistance,
- supports for seniors, newcomers, and much more.
Not sure where to turn? Contact 211 for information and resources. Or, search the 211 online resource database at bc.211.ca
VictimLink BC provides confidential information and referral services to all victims of crime in BC and Yukon, as well as immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.
Gambling Support Line
Gambling Support BC provides information and resources to support informed choices and healthy behaviours with respect to gambling. Referrals to prevention, treatment, and support services are available for anyone struggling with their own or a loved one’s gambling.
Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Service (ADIRS)
Lower Mainland Dial 604-660-9382, Elsewhere in BC: Dial 1-800-663-1441
Worried about drug and alcohol use? Whether it’s for yourself or someone you care about, you can call for information, options, and support. We can refer you to a full range of counselling and treatment services across BC.
Youth Against Violence Line
The Youth Against Violence Line is a safe and anonymous way for young people across BC to talk through any type of problem. Our Community Resource Specialists offer non-judgmental support and will provide you with information and referrals to services that can help.
Parents, teachers, caregivers, service providers and others can also call for information about youth-related resources.
The Shelter and Street Help Line
The Shelter and Street Help Line assists people who are affected by homelessness in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts, as well as in Greater Victoria. A wide range of circumstances can result in homelessness, and there are a variety of programs and service that can help.
The Shelter Lists detail available shelter beds and mats for women, men, youth and families. The lists are updated twice daily at 11:30 am and 7:30 pm.
United Way BC Helpline Services has a long and proud history of connecting people to community resources for help, where and when they need it.
Originating in 1953 as Vancouver’s Community Information Service, the organization published the Directory of Health, Welfare and Recreation Services that evolved and expanded to become the annual Red Book Directory (1957-2008).
For the next 50 years, the information and referral service cultivated a reputation as the definitive resource for non-emergency human services. Over the years it grew to deliver specialized call answer services for the Victim’s Information Line, Alcohol and Drug TRYLine, Problem Gambling Help Line, Youth Against Violence Line, and Shelter and Street Help Lines.
In 2010, 211 British Columbia Services Society, operating as BC211, was launched and served Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts. The service expanded to the Sunshine Coast Regional District in 2014 and Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in 2017. In March 2020, BC211 was called to service as part of the Province of British Columbia’s emergency response to COVID 19, and service was expanded province-wide.
On April 1, 2022, BC211 integrated with United Way British Columbia further strengthening our ability to connect all British Columbians to vital community programs and services for everyday needs and in times of crisis.
Accredited by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) since 2008, we meet international standards relating to call response, privacy and confidentiality, and quality and accuracy of resources.
- 15,900+ Database Resource Records
- 81,164 Help Line Requests Answered
- 165,168 Referrals Made
- 99,056 Online Resource Database Search Sessions
“I know that our services and my work have had impact by how people express their gratitude at the end of the call. Sometimes it’s when I hear the caller take a deep breath and then a very long exhale…as if some heavy weight or burden has been lifted.” – Grace, Community Resource Specialist