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Annual Report 2013 - 2014


Strong communities where people can easily connect with the help they need

PURPOSE To provide people with access to community, government and social services


Service – We work as community to serve community Integrity – We serve clients with respect Innovation – We seek and action solutions for tomorrow

Reflections on a Defining Year 2013-14 was a year of significant milestones and notable transitions for bc211 First and foremost, it was a record breaking year in terms of growth. Almost 53,000 people reached out through our 211 phone line, a 25% increase over the previous year. In total, through all of our information and referral services, we connected 84,000 British Columbians with the help that they needed, across a broad spectrum of social and health issues. Thousands more found the information and the resources that they were looking for through bc211’s free community resources directory, The Red Book Online. While we are happy to report that more people are using bc211’s services, through our enhanced data collection and analysis capabilities, we know that challenging social issues such as homelessness, poverty, substance use and mental illness continue to impact some of the most vulnerable members of our community, including seniors and youth. To that end, we have re-committed to our goal of providing agency partners and public policy makers with better information on which to base funding decisions. bc211’s human capital, information management technology and wealth of data come with a responsibility to use these valuable assets to support positive changes in our social safety net. In the last year, bc211 has also experienced a significant transition in senior leadership. Our long serving Board Chair Michele Pye and Executive Director Myrna Holman, both moved on to new challenges. We are incredibly indebted to them for their tireless efforts to build bc211 into one of the leading information and referral agencies in Canada. We also want to recognize the accomplishments of the bc211 team, who demonstrated their commitment, resourcefulness and positive engagement during a year that was not without challenges and uncertainties. 2014-2015 also promises to be an exciting year. The continuing shift to mobile telephony will see bc211 leverage new technologies, such as text messaging, to connect people with the help that they need. Changes in the public’s information-seeking behaviour will also drive significant changes in how bc211 will use its’ website and social media channels to engage with the community. We hope that you will enjoy reading about the some of the highlights of the past year in our annual report, and that you share our excitement for the year ahead!

Bob Prenovost Executive Director

Simon Edgett Board Chair


Our Story Our Services Our Successes


Our Story


ince our humble beginnings in 1953, we have provided more than 700,000 people with access to community, government, and social services through quality information and referral. Recognized as a leader in information and referral, bc211 was the first agency in Canada to be certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) in 2002.

Red Book’ in paper format. With a web-based format, we were able to provide the public with resource information that reflected ongoing changes and updates. In April of 2010, the 211 British Columbia Services Society, operating under the name bc211, was officially launched. At this time, bc211 began operating 211 services in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Squamish-Lillooet bc211 first opened its doors in 1953 Regional Districts. To accommodate this expansion under the name Community Information Service of our services, in 2010 we moved to a new location and was one of the first referral organizations in in the historic Woodward’s Building. the Lower Mainland. As we continued to expand our services, we published the first edition of the The popularity of 211 service has risen Directory of Health, Welfare and Recreation Services throughout Metro Vancouver throughout the last in 1958, which later became known as ‘The Red four years and in 2014 service was extended to the Book.’ We continued to expand over the next 30 Sunshine Coast. years, and to publish annual directories. In 1985 we became Information Services Vancouver. Although bc211 has grown significantly, taking different forms and names over the years, we have always maintained a firm commitment to providing the highest quality of information and referral service. We began offering specialized helpline services in the late 80s with the direct-dial Victims’ Information Line and the Alcohol and Drug TRYLine. Over the next 20 years, four new speciality lines were added – the Problem Gambling Help Line in 1998, VictimLink in 2003, the Youth Against Violence Line in 2005 and the Shelter and Street Help Line in 2007. In 1991, we started ‘The Red Book’ Online Directory and in 2008 we stopped publishing ‘The


bc211 Timeline Community Information Centre changes its name to the Greater Vancouver Community Information Information Referral Service (GVIRS) Service comes into being as a service of the Community Chest and Councils




The first directory of services is published and becomes known as The Red Book


The Red Book Online, an electronic version of the directory, is published on the Internet and hosted by the VPL



GVIRS name changes to Information Services Vancouver (ISV) and moves to Heritage Hall

Shelter Help Lin with su City o

The last printed edition of the Red Book is published and is replaced by an enhanced version of the Red Book Online



and Street ne is launched upport from the of Vancouver

bc211 moves from Heritage Hall to the newly renovated Woodward's Building in the Downtown Eastside




The 211 British Columbia Services Society operating under the name of bc211 was officially launched bc211 become the first 211 agency in Canada to deliver I&R services using text and chat technologies


The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness values the assistance of bc211 in providing

resource information

to our membership and to vulnerable Burnaby citizens. bc211 resource information is a practical tool to assist vulnerable people exit homelessness and access crucial services. Having a centralized place to call has really helped streamline the process of meeting the needs of

our community.

We are very thankful for this service.

Wanda Mulholland, Community Development Coordinator Burnaby Task Force on Homelessness 6

Our Services 211 Service Funded by the generous support of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, bc211 operates a 211 service in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts. 211 is an easy-to-remember, 3-digit phone number that provides free, confidential, multilingual access to community, government and social services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 211 calls are answered by certified Information and Referral Specialists, who are able to assess each caller’s need and refer them to appropriate services and resources within their community. The mandate of 211 is to connect people to the services they need so that they can live fuller, healthier lives, and to assist service providers trying to locate community resources for their clients.

Street and Street Help Line Funded by the City of Vancouver, the Shelter and Street Help Line is designed to assist people who are affected by homelessness in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts. Twice a day, the Shelter and Street Help Line staff contact Lower Mainland shelters, and publishes the Shelter List, which details available shelter beds and mats for women, men, youth and families.

Red Book Online

The Red Book Online is a searchable directory of community resources serving the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet and Sunshine Coast regional districts. Click on http://redbookonline.bc211.ca to access the Red Book Online.

Speciality Help Lines In addition to our 211 service, bc211 also answers four speciality help lines, which are province wide and available 24/7, 365 days a year.

VictimLink BC

Provides crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence as well as information and referral to victims of crime, including human trafficking.

Youth Against Violence Line

Alcohol & Drug Information & Referral Service

Provides a wide range of information for people with addictions as well as their significant others, in addition to service providers.

Problem Gambling Help Line

Information about resources such as support groups, educational and prevention services, in addition to referrals for free counselling services for anyone affected by problem gambling.

Data Sharing bc211 is committed to strengthening communities by leveraging data for informed community planning, social policy, and funding decisions. In order to answer the help lines and assist those using the Red Book Online, bc211 maintains a database of services. Pairing this resource data with our call data makes our information highly valuable not only to individuals in need, but to social service providers, community planners, and local and provincial governments. Reliable data can provide a factual base from which to generate effective solutions to complex problems; it allows analysis of assumptions and options, and supports evidence-based decision making. By sharing our aggregated data, we are able to enhance the effectiveness of community planning and policy development.

Community Lists With over 8,500 records in our database, bc211 is able to provide customized resource lists for government and service organizations looking to support vulnerable clients and increase community capacity.

Professional Development Workshops bc211 has offered professional development workshops and customized training for more than 20 years. These workshops were developed in response to the needs of service providers in the community. Service providers and community volunteers can benefit from learning information and referral skills and best practices, whether they specialize in information and referral or provide direct service in other areas.

Provides a safe, confidential, and anonymous way for youth, parents, and counsellors to speak with a supportive person to report a crime or violent incident, and get access to services.


Our Successes

Strengthening communities through continuing innovation 2013-2014 has been a year of connection.

211 Helps More People In the past year, bc211 connected 25% more people for all 211 Canadian information & referral centres to stay to government, community and social services. With connected by sharing trends and new initiatives. increased demand for 211 service, we anticipate a 10% increase in volume in the upcoming fiscal year. 211 on SkyTrain

bc211 Wins the Non Profit Project of the Year Award

Through the efforts of Pastor Norman Oldham, Chair

of the Vancouver Urban Core Community Workers Association’s Transit Working Group, and bc211’s advocacy on behalf of Lower Mainland homeless people, 211 services were displayed on SkyTrain monitors to assist those looking for shelter information during extreme weather conditions.

On June 3, 2013, the Project Management Institute’s Canadian West Coast Chapter awarded bc211 its annual Non-Profit Project of the Year Awards for its Information Management System Implementation Project. The award recognizes a project that has had a positive impact on the community, New Leadership delivered by a charitable non-profit organization On January 7, 2014 Bob Prenovost took the helm leveraging project management best practices. as Executive Director of bc211. Bob has held senior management positions in the public, private and Partnership with the Bank of social profit sectors. He founded pm-volunteers.org, a non-profit initiative that connects skilled, volunteer Montreal project management professionals with charitable In September 2013, bc211 partnered with the Bank not-for-profit organizations. In 2013, Bob received of Montreal in distributing 211 information at the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award from four branches to increase awareness of 211 services the Association of Fundraising Professionals. amongst seniors. The project was later expanded and now includes 15 additional BMO branches located bc211 Spirit Awards in the Greater Vancouver area. The United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Community Spirit Awards inspired us to hold our Representation on Inform own bc211 Spirit Awards. In February 2014 staff, Canada Board of Directors were invited to identify opportunities to increase Louise Ghoussoub, bc211’s Manager of Informa- revenue, reduce costs and build awareness in support tion and Referral Services, was elected to the of organizational development. In total, 69 ideas Board of Directors for InformCanada in October were submitted, demonstrating the collective creativity, 2013, the national organization of information and engagement and initiative of our team.   referral providers. InformCanada provides an opportunity


211 Expansion to the Sunshine Coast

In March 2014, bc211’s geographic coverage expanded to include the Sunshine Coast area, bringing residents immediate access to the most current information and referral regarding community, government, and social services. We now serve the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish-Lillooet, and Sunshine Coast regional districts.

bc211 and the ‘I AM SOMEONE’ Anti-Bullying Society In 2013-2014, in partnership with I AM SOMEONE, bc211 laid the groundwork to operate a texting platform for youth in the Tri-Cities area. The new service will enable youth to send a text for support and assistance in finding help dealing with issues such as bullying, gangs, sexual exploitation, date violence, hate crimes, discrimination and abuse.


211 service in 2013-2014..


The 211 service, which was launched on November 2nd, 2010 by bc211, continues to experience increased call volumes with a 25% growth in calls. This past year we answered 52,855 calls on our 211 line, 58,926 visits to our Red Book Online directory and connected with many more members of the community through numerous outreach initiatives.

Types of Referrals Offered by 211

211 service would not happen without the generous support of our primary funder, the United Way of the Lower Mainland. We are thankful for their vision and commitment to improve access to social and health-related support services.

Children, Youth and Family Support including child care, after school programs, educational programs for low-income families, and family resource centres.

Basic Human Needs Resources including food and clothing banks, shelters and rent assistance.

Physical and Mental Health Resources including crisis intervention services, support groups, counselling and drug and Dialing 211 provides individuals and families in alcohol intervention and rehabilitation. need with a shortcut through what can be a maze of health and social service agencies’ phone numbers. Support for Seniors and Persons with DisBy simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance abilities are referred to appropriate agencies and resources, including adult day care, meal delivery enabling them to lead fuller and healthier lives by services, respite care, home health care, becoming more engaged with their community. transportation and homemaker services.

Emergency Suicide Prevention including referrals to crisis intervention organizations. Legal Services including counselling and support for victims of crime.

Through our day-to-day work with living with HIV, we know that there are many people in our community with unmet needs. Since bc211 opened its doors in 2010, the Positive Living Society of BC has used referrals from 211to supplement the support that we give to our members. Anytime we need to find resources outside our knowledge base, our Peer Navigators and access support staff are able to turn to 211 for assistance. It is great to have a single point of access for our clients to connect with government, community and social services.


Wayne Campbell, Board Chair of the Positive Living Society of BC 13 13

VictimLink BC 1-800-563-0808

Contracted by the Victim Service and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Justice, bc211 is responsible for delivering VictimLink BC for the province of British Columbia and VictimLink Yukon. Available 24/7, 365 days per year, VictimLink BC provides information and referral service to all victims of crime, and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

•Answered 11,943 calls during 201314 •76% of callers were female •6% of calls were from older adults •Assisted people in 223 communities across BC and the Yukon •Referred 1,883 callers in BC and the Yukon to transition housing

30% 25%

Top 5 reasons for Calling VictimLink BC in 2013-2014

20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

Domestic Abuse

Emotional Abuse

Physical Abuse


Elder Abuse

Youth Against Violence Line 1-800-680-4264

•Answered 173 calls during 2013-14 •Assisted people in 34 communities across BC •64% of callers were female •17% of callers were referred to the police

The Youth Against Violence Line is a contracted service delivered on behalf of the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Justice. By calling the Youth Against Violence Line, youth can receive non-judgmental support and options for addressing issues such as bullying, gangs, sexual exploitation, dating violence, hate crimes, discrimination and abuse. Parents, teachers or service providers concerned about the well-being of a young person, can also call for assistance. 25%


Top 5 reasons for Calling Youth Against Violence in 2013 - 2014






Mental Health

Conflicts with Others




Alcohol & Drug Information & Referral Service 604-660-9382 / 1-800-663-1441

The Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Services (ADIRS) is delivered on behalf of the Ministry of Health and is available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Callers looking for free confidential help with any kind of substance abuse can access information and referral regarding education, prevention and treatment services, as well as regulatory agencies. Support is also available to friends and families who are looking for ways to assist their loved ones in making positive changes.

•Answered 21, 945 calls during 2013-14 •More than 8,000 calls were from people in correctional facilities

•Callers were referred to addictions

treatment and support in 126 communities across BC

•87% of callers from correctional facilities were male

•56% of non-corrections callers were female

60% 50%

Top 5 Substances Reported in 2013-2014

40% 30% 20% 10% 0%






Problem Gambling Help Line


•Answered 4,341 calls during 2013-14 •Assisted people in 126 communities across BC

•1,510 callers were given referrals to one of 26 clinical problem gambling counsellors across BC

•25% of callers phoned due to excessive time spent gambling

Contracted by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Finance, the Problem Gambling Help Line provides information to support individuals affected by problem gambling. Available 24/7, province wide, callers can access information such as support groups, educational and prevention services for community groups, and free counselling services for anyone impacted by problem gambling. Calling the Problem Gambling Help Line can be the first step towards regaining control when gambling issues arise.

40% 35%

Gambling Activities Reported in 2013-2014

30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5%



Internet Gambling

Table Games

Slot Machines

Lottery Products

0% 17

Board of Directors Simon Edgett, Chair Simon is a business and sales leader with expertise in Telecommunications and Information Technology (IT). He was co-founder and vice-president of an early internet a provider in British Columbia and has since worked in the IT space, through startups, IPOs in the dotcom era, followed by large national corporations.  Since 2005 he has held a director position at Bell Canada and is currently the Director - Solution Specialist and Technical Architecture with Bell Business Markets.

Michael Mcknight, Secretary Michael has been the President and CEO of the United Way of the Lower Mainland since 2004.  Prior to holding this position, he was the President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.  There he developed a national vision and implemented a strategic plan that resulted in an 80% increase in the number of children and youth served during his term.  Michael has undergraduate degrees in Communications from Carleton University and Social Work from York University.  He has a Master’s degree in Management from McGill University.

Gary Luedke, Treasurer Gary is a Partner of Smythe Ratcliffe specialising in assurance in owner-managed business enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and benefit plans. Gary has extensive client experience within the real estate and construction industries. He is an award-winning community services advocate. In 2004, Gary was presented with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Community Service Award.

Teresa Budd Teresa is a lawyer in WATSON’s governance practice. Teresa has over 14 years’ experience in governance and law, and works with organizations across all sectors, including private companies, public companies, Crown agencies, municipal corporations, member-based organizations, regulatory bodies and not-for-profit organizations. Teresa supports WATSON’s clients through board effectiveness reviews and governance audits. Teresa has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario.

Board of Directors Mark Donnelly Mark Donnelly is Director, Communications and Community at BCAA and President & COO of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation. He also has over 20 years marketing experience at BCAA and TELUS. He is a past board member of the BC Association of Integrated Marketers and was previously a mentor with the Vancouver Board of Trade. Mark is a graduate of Simon Fraser University (Bachelor of Business Administration) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) (Master of Arts – Economics). He also holds a Certificate in Internet Marketing from UBC.

Chuck Eamer Chuck worked for almost 30 years in the BC Public Service. He holds degrees in education and social work. Before leaving government Chuck was an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Children and Family Development. His responsibilities covered the Vancouver Island region, specialized IT projects, Early Years programming, Child Care, and others. Since leaving government Chuck has run a consulting firm, Eamer Human Systems Consulting. Most of his work has been with First Nations organizations.

Kim Lockhart Kim is the National Director, Talent Management and Learning Partnerships and the Canadian liaison to United Way Worldwide, at the United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC), which provides leadership and support to over 100 United Ways Centraides across Canada.  Prior to joining UWCC, she served as Vice President of the United Way of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia.  Kim was the 1999 recipient of the UWCC Award of Distinction and in 2002 was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee medal.

Warren Olson Since 2001, Warren has been a member of the senior management team at the United Way of Lower Mainland. In his current position as Vice President, Finance and Administration he is responsible for the management and direction of the organization’s finance, donor services, human resources, information technology and research and analytics functions. Prior to the joining the United Way, Warren served as the General Manager of CHEK-TV in Victoria and as the Vice President, Finance and Administration for BCTV/ CHEK-TV.


Finances 211 British Columbia Services Society

Statements of operations year ended March 31, 2014 Revenue




2, 079,105

United Way of Lower Mainland Operating Grant Transition Funding (note 7)

Federal Government Justice Canada

BC Government

Ministry of Justice - VictimLink BC, Youth Against Violence Line Ministry of Finance - The Problem Gambling Help Line Ministry of Health - Alcohol & Drug information and Referral Service Ministry of Justice - Women and Family Violence Awareness

Yukon Government City of Vancouver Vancouver Coastal Health Authority United Way of Fraser Valley Workshops Listing Donation Interest


Salaries and Benefits Advertising and promotion Purchase services and subcontracts Office and program Building occupancy Training Other Deficiency of revenues over expenses before the undemoted Amortization of differed capital contributions Amortization of property and equipment

Red Book Online

bc211 is an important tool that we can rely on when those in crisis reach out to us for help. Requiring no special software to be installed, it has an intuitive interface making it easy to use and readily accessible via a web browser. We search the Red book for resources to individuals in distress to services they need.

help connect

Michael Lam, Director of HR & IT, Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC 22 11

Our commitment and passion for empowering individuals and communities would not happen without the generous support of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, the City of Vancouver and the United Way of the Fraser Valley.

Looking For Information? We Can Help Administration Contact Contact our Help Lines Information Information and Referral Service: 211 bc211

VictimLink BC: 1-800-563-0808

Website: www.bc211.ca

Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Line (Local): 604-660-9382 (Outside Lower Mainland): 1-800-663-1441 Youth Against Violence Line: 1-800-680-4264

Email: info@bc211.ca Phone: 604-875-6431 Address: 330-111 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4

Problem Gambling Help Line: 1-888-795-6111 Shelter and Street Help Line: 211 Red Book Online: http://resources.bc211.ca

Profile for bc211

bc211 Annual Report 2013-2014  

bc211 Annual Report 2013 - 2014

bc211 Annual Report 2013-2014  

bc211 Annual Report 2013 - 2014

Profile for bc211