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211 is spreading.
The non-emergency number run by the Lakehead Social Planning Council fielded more than 30,000 calls last year on everything from lost wallets to mental health inquires.
Used as a hotline during May’s flood, it also became the centre for information for those affected.
“We saw probably a 100 per cent increase in our call volume,” LSPC service director Marie Klassen said.
People are still calling with questions about flood issues, particularly those who are still waiting on furnaces.
“We are getting calls for people who don’t have heat. There aren’t a whole lot of them but there are people who are still waiting for furnaces to be installed,” she said.
An operator is there 24 hours a day to answer questions or make referrals. Klassen credits the growing popularity of the service with being easy to remember but also the fact that someone is always there.
“People are able to talk to someone live immediately as opposed to leaving a message or dialing a menu driven kind of phone line,” she said.
The hotline also partnered with the city for graffiti guard.
When someone spots graffiti, they can call 211 and report it right away. Staff fill out a work order and send it on to the city to be cleaned up.
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