Everyone needs a little help
once in a while

What is Information & Referral?

Information Hamilton is the I&R agency managing information on services and programs within the City of Hamilton.

Information and Referral (I&R) is the art and practice of bringing people and services together. When individuals and families don't know where to turn, I&R is there for them.

What is I&R?

Information & Referral connects people to the services they need. I&R organizations collect community information, develop and maintain resource databases, provide phone and in-person services, and publish and distribute information. I&R connects people to critical services like financial assistance, food, shelter, child care, jobs, and health support.

Who uses I&R?

Everyone can use and benefit from I&R throughout their lives!

The issues, questions and solutions are as diverse as those seeking assistance and span the spectrum of human experience. This may include prenatal planning, childcare, education and training, housing, transportation, employment, shelters, settlement, immigration, mental health and crisis assistance, financial aid, senior care, disease and health information, volunteer opportunities, relocation and new community orientation and more.

Who provides I&R?

Agencies may be independent nonprofits, libraries, faith-based organizations, or government agencies at every level. I&R may be the main service of an agency or a separate program within a multi-service organization.

Information Hamilton is the I&R agency managing information on services and programs within the City of Hamilton.

How I&R works

I&R agencies gather, create and maintain resource databases of programs and services. The information is shared through a variety of channels – online, print, phone, face-to-face as well as social media.

The databases contain vital information on community, social, health and government programs and services and are kept up-to-date by trained Resource Specialists. While people may receive assistance via the phone, other methods, such as in-person office visits, online searches, instant messaging, texting and social media may also be available.

People speak with trained, empathetic I&R Specialists who assess their needs in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner, to better understand their situations and empower them to make informed decisions about possible solutions. I&R Specialists can also advocate on behalf of individuals who need additional support. The services they provide are free, convenient, and confidential.

Why I&R matters

Accredited I&R agencies are the quickest and most reliable source for connecting people with the community services they need.

People who need answers and help often do not know where to begin their search. As such, they may not get the assistance they require, or they may waste time searching through various websites or calling multiple places with mixed results. With I&R, they receive the information they need in one simple step and from one source.

Adapted from AIRS (Alliance of Information and Referral Systems)