Findhelp Information Services
Our Impact Why We Exist
Our Vision: People Connected. Communities Strengthened.
Our Values: Service to others • Accountable • Partnerships • Diversity
Findhelp's core values define what we stand for and how we operate, helping us to work together in the most fulfilling ways.
- We are passionate about providing service to others and through our actions demonstrate respect, empathy, honesty, integrity and trust.
- We are accountable and uphold the highest professional standards.
- We value partnership. We work together bringing out the best in each other and creating strong working relationships.
- We value diversity in the broadest sense. We create an inclusive environment that celebrates individual differences.
- We respect people for who they are and for their knowledge, skills, and experience as individuals and team members. We treat clients with respect and fairness and expect the same in return.
Our Story What We Do
History of Organization
In 1952, the Community Information Centre of Metropolitan Toronto (CICMT) — later to become Community Information Toronto and now Findhelp Information Services — was launched as a response to increasing demand for reliable information about community programs in the city. As a program of the Social Planning Council of Toronto, CICMT provided a telephone line service and an annual community services directory eventually known as the Blue Book, and we were commonly referred to as "the Blue Book people".
By 1970, CICMT had grown and demand was continuing to increase. CICMT had become an incorporated non-profit and an independent organization. Over the years, the organization has responded to changing demographics within the city of Toronto, including amalgamation, and has grown to respond to the diverse social issues that affect life in our city. Specialty helplines to better respond to Toronto’s changing needs have included Information for Victims of Violence (1984), the Street Helpline (1993), the Victim Support Line (1996), Central Access (2006), Information Line (2007) and the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Line (2011), Developmental Services Toronto (2015)
New publications and other ways to connect communities to much needed services and supports were also developed, and in 2002 we launched 211 Toronto the first 211 service in Canada. We also became the first agency in Canada to receive accreditation from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, “the international voice of Information and Referral (I&R)”.
In 2004 we became Findhelp Information Services. The new name reflected the growth of the agency from a local organization to one that is responsive to local issues and the larger contexts from which local issues stem. Findhelp continued to emerge as a leader in Information and Referral across Ontario. By 2011, Findhelp had expanded its services into Durham and York Regions, to form 211 Central Region.
Today, we work with partners across Canada and within Ontario; we work in collaboration with three levels of government and the non-profit sector to develop relationships and create ways to enable people and agencies to connect to services and their communities. Findhelp continues to find new ways to create connections and solutions to build strong communities across Toronto and Ontario.
Our Programs How We Do It
211 is a live-answer, free, confidential, 24/7 multilingual phone service providing callers with information and referral to community, health and social services. 211 is a free, easy to remember and confidential 3-digit number that enables callers to receive information and guidance to the community and social services best suited to their needs. Over a thousand times a day, callers in need reach highly-trained Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists, who assess their needs and link them to the best available services and programs.
211Toronto.ca an online directory of over 20,000 community, social, health and related government programs and services.
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s Victim Support Line (VSL) 1-888-579-2888 or 416-314-2447 in Toronto area VSL is a province-wide, multilingual, toll-free information line for victims of crime. The program offers information and referral to a range of support services in your community including: Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario Victim Witness Assistance Program Victim Quick Response Program Criminal Injuries and Compensation Board Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres and more
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General's Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Provincial Crisis and Support Line 1-866-887-0015 Male survivors of sexual abuse obtain access to crisis and integrated follow-up services throughout Ontario. Calls are free and confidential and live-answered 24/7. You will talk to a caring person and receive referrals, as needed, to crisis support, individual and group counselling, peer support and online counselling.
Central Access Withdrawal Management 1-866-366-9513 24/7 toll free number to connect to the Toronto Withdrawal Management Services System for support to withdraw from alcohol and/or drugs. Our Central Access staff will help you find the right location and level of service for you or your client's withdrawal management needs. The Toronto Withdrawal Management Services System is for: those 16 years and older social service and health care professionals seeking to refer clients anyone requiring information about withdrawal management services
Data and Taxonomy collection and classification of community and social service data for 211toronto.ca and for use by 211 I&R Specialists and various projects such as Ontario Victim Services Directory, Access to Professions and Trades in Ontario site; aggregation of data for 211Ontario.ca; support for ongoing development and use of national data classification system for I&R services in English and French.
Employment Ontario powering the government of Ontario’s bilingual “Find Employment and Training Services” database which assists people of all ages who are recently unemployed and face barriers to employment.
Outreach collaborate visits and presentations to agencies, newcomer groups, job seekers and service providers; attendance at conferences and community events to provide information about our services.
Funding and Program Partners
Yearly, 211 Toronto is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Ontario 211 Services Corporation, City of Toronto and United Way Toronto and York Region.
What You Can Do
211 Central (Findhelp)
Promotion: When people learn about 211 they are absolutely amazed that such a phenomenal service exists. That’s a problem. We don’t want them to be surprised; we want everyone to know about 211 like they know 311, 411 and 911 and to have 211 top of mind whenever they may have an unanswered need. With your help, we would be there for people living in priority and more affluent neighbourhoods, youth who need someone to talk to, the homeless, the newly unemployed, new immigrants who don’t know how to get help, anyone who doesn’t know where to turn to get their questions answered and needs met. Financial support would help us to:
- create and distribute printed materials to key locations – apartments, schools, medical offices, libraries, community and senior centres, riding and ward offices
- expand the use of social media
- advertise in traditional and electronic media
- rent booth space at community events
- purchase the use of a media service for wide distribution of media releases
- tell the story of the impact
With financial support Findhelp Information Services could not only ensure non-stop 24/7 service to the community and those who depend on us, but also equip more of the population with the knowledge that help is just a push of “three” buttons away.