Google to Provide Homeless with Free Voicemail

This is a great thing to do:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Google has made an announcement that could help hundreds of homeless people in San Francisco get back on their feet.

Every single homeless person in the city will be given a life-long phone number and voicemail, should they choose to accept it, NBC11’s Lisa Bernard said.

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A homeless person will be able to call in for his or her messages from any phone.

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The move by the city and the company would allow someone to be able to fill out a job application, which asks for a call back number.It will allow clinics to share test results.Mayor Gavin Newsom and Google said they want to empower people.”How do you communicate as a homeless individual? ” Newsom asked. “How do you expect your life to turn around if you can’t even get information or if someone can’t even get in touch with you?”

“It just seems exactly like any other voice mail,” said Craig Walker, senior project manager of Google. “There’s no stigma attached to it that ‘hey this is a temporary thing’ or ‘this is an 800 number.’ It’s really just a local number owned by the user.”

In my work with the homeless, I find that there are so many barriers for those who are trying to get back on their feet, and communication is a huge one. Imagine trying to find a job and having to write the phone number of a homeless shelter so your future employer can call you back to arrange an interview. 9 times out of ten, that hiring manager will just hang up upon learning that you are homeless.

What this project does is help empower people to take control of their lives, and those who are willing and able to do that will benefit from this service, and as a result, I think we all will.

I can’t wait for the project to spread nationally.

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One response to “Google to Provide Homeless with Free Voicemail

  1. This is a good idea to provide an useful “tool” for homeless & help them to get a job.
    ;o)

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