Posted by Keith Phillips on Feb 21, 2018
Patricia Jelinski is President and CEO of United Way Greater Victoria.
Patricia introduced the Club to bc211, a new tool to help with Rotary and the community deal with needs in the areas of education, health and welfare, poverty and community enhancement.  bc211 is a one stop on-line/telephone/text service for community, non-clinical health, government and social services inquiries, providing a complete service directory and an easily navigable website, available 24x7x365, in 160 languages, including a number of First Nation dialects.  The 'caller' finds the service point on the directory and is then guided to record or a respondent drawn from a highly qualified staff of social workers and social service professionals.  This single point of contact concept originated in Atlanta, and arrived in the Lower Mainland in 2010.  The service is now available Province wide, including, since September of 2017, on Vancouver Island.  The United Way funding model on the Island revolves around private donations, allowing access to the 12,000 'records' or public service information bulletins available for responders when someone in need calls.  The responder can "cut through the clutter" and respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of the caller.  These responses can range from direction to available service agencies or, in the case of the fires this past summer, provide an efficient access point for fire victems to emergency, Red Cross and United Way services.  bc211 has also come to be a significant resource for police, fire and social service agencies - saving time, providing effective focus, and as the website is constantly updated, providing always current information.  Patricia wrapped up a fascinating and important presentation with a request that we all "tell someone else about bc211".