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Google Offers Homeless Free Voicemail  (Source: MSNBC)
Google says the voicemail will allow doctors and employers to contact the homeless

The problem for many homeless job seekers and homeless people with medical conditions is that while they can get assistance with healthcare and looking for a job, they don’t typically have a way for doctors or potential employers to contact them.

Google announced this week that it would offer free voicemail to every homeless person in San Francisco. The voicemail will cost the homeless people nothing and messages can be retrieved from any phone. The users would be able to leave their own personal greetings and the numbers are theirs to keep forever.

Google says that there will be nothing to indicate to people calling the voicemail that it is anything other than a standard local number. This will allow homeless to fill out job applications and leave a contact number, making them more likely to find work. The numbers can also be used to allow doctors and clinics to contact users as well as giving family a way to reach the homeless.

Craig Walker, senior project manager at Google told MSNBC, "It just seems exactly like any other voicemail. 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."

The program is ready to start in San Francisco right away and if successful could be rolled out to more cities across the country in the future. Google also announced another new imitative today called Google Health that allows people to keep medical records in one place.



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RE: So they need to use a phone to get the messages?
By bhieb on 2/29/2008 2:11:22 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Homeless clients received phone service as part of their Project CARE (Communications and Respect for Everybody) cases.

From the original article. They already have access to free phone service.


By zombiexl on 2/29/2008 2:30:09 PM , Rating: 1
SO then they have to go to ProjectCARE to use a phone. Now it might cost them bus fare to call in. I'm just saying there is no reason google couldnt provide an 800 number for them to use to check messages if they are really tryign to help.


By eye smite on 2/29/2008 2:47:29 PM , Rating: 3
Zombie are you just trying to be agro about this? I'm sure a homeless person can borrow the phone at a gas station or even borrow a couple of coins to use the payphone from someone. It just seems like you're bashing this article to bash it......
I could be wrong though.


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