BC211 has a long and proud history in British Columbia. Originating in 1953 as Vancouver’s Community Information Service, the organization published the Directory of Health, Welfare and Recreation Services that grew to become the annual Red Book Directory.

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 expanded to deliver specialized help lines for provincial and municipal programs, including the: Victim’s Information Line, Alcohol and Drug TRYLine, Problem Gambling Help Line, Youth Against Violence Line, and Shelter and Street Help Lines.

BC211 was officially launched in 2010, serving Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts. The 211 service was expanded to Vancouver Island in 2017. In March 2020, BC211 was called to service as part of the emergency response to COVID-19, and 211 was expanded province-wide.