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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 2:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
Another thing why is it that anytime anyone tries to do something they think is good (regardless of how dumb it is) someone like you is always there to knock them. And it always seems the more successful the persons/company is the more you people criticize.

By Haven Bartton on 2/29/2008 2:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, this goes a long way towards a persons personal situation not interfering with their ability to get a job. If a homeless person comes in for an interview and fits the job, it really shouldn't matter where/if they go home to after work.

By eye smite on 2/29/2008 2:51:19 PM , Rating: 3
I'm really curious now Zombie after reading your comments, what in your opinion would be a complete solution on this. It may not be a complete solution, but it's offering something to homeless people they don't currently have.....

By Skitchin on 2/29/2008 4:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'd really like to see what zombie could come up with as a complete solution, doesn't matter anyhow. The point here is that Google is doing something that they really don't have to do AT ALL. Someone who is struggling like this has probably learned by now to just take what they can get.

I do have one concern with this, and that is abuse of the system. Who wouldn't want to take advantage of a free voicemail for life? Imagine, being able to give some chick at a bar a number, without worrying about being bothered at home...oh wait, a couple of you might not be too worried about that... :P Don't be evil.

By zombiexl on 3/1/2008 11:53:08 AM , Rating: 1
I think i stated very clearly that giving them the ability to call an 800 number would make it more complete.
No matter, I offended the "google is the best company in the world" crowd so whatever i say will be rated down.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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