How we help
Findhelp operates 211, the award-winning 3-digit phone and online service which helps Ontarians connect to the complete range of government and community-based health and social services available in their communities.
Calls are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by professional information and referral specialists who are trained to assess caller needs, and to refer callers to the most appropriate resources.
Information and Referral services are delivered through a dynamic and complex process that requires:
- Attentive listening skills
- Comprehension of client needs and concerns
- A thorough assessment of each call
- An excellent knowledge of social programs and services
- The ability to clearly explain complex eligibility requirements and application procedures
- Excellent research skills
Effective I&R provides the critical function of helping people access the services that best address their needs.
On a snowy Sunday, a caller with disabilities called 211 with no food in his apartment. The 211 worker called agencies until she found someone to deliver food to his door on a one-time basis, and she problem-solved with the caller so that he did not run short of food again.
A Convention refugee arrived in Toronto, elated to be here, but wondering how to start his new life. A 211 worker painstakingly went over how to obtain identification, all his next steps for the coming week, and places to receive in-depth settlement assistance in his own language.
A woman with a low income called 211 distraught. She had received an eviction notice and she desperately wanted to stay in her apartment. The 211 worker outlined what her options were and connected her with a community legal clinic to help her fight the eviction.
A man who had been sober for two years called Central Access sobbing because he had a relapse. The worker took the time to reassure him that he was doing the right thing reaching out for help. She helped him get into a withdrawal management centre that very afternoon, so he could continue his recovery.
A man called 211 frustrated as he was being laid off from yet another retail job. He wanted to look into the skilled trades, but he did not know where to start. The 211 worker went over how apprenticeship worked and connected him with the local apprenticeship office and the Employment Ontario Helpline to start him on the road to more rewarding employment.
Victim Support Line (VSL)
A woman phoned VSL, unsure of what to do. Her husband had beaten her the week before and charges were laid. She wanted to have custody of their children. The VSL worker told her about a family court support worker who could help her through the family court process, as well as where to receive counselling for herself and the children, so that they could heal from the abuse.
Male Survivor Support Line (MSSL)
A man called the MSSL, his life at a crossroads. He had never received help in dealing with the sexual abuse that had happened to him as a child, instead dulling the pain with alcohol. The MSSL worker gave him time to talk about the abuse, and helped him find addiction services near him, as well as specialized counselling for male survivors in his community.