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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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Let's be serious now
By Lord 666 on 2/29/2008 3:35:58 PM , Rating: 1
While this is a great "feel good" idea, there are many more obsticles that prevent homeless people from nailing the perfect job than not having a voicemail.

Namely what happens when the homeless person comes in all smelly, dirty, and wearing the same ripped clothes day in and day out. Not all homeless people have access to a homeless shelter.

Working in NYC, you can tell the difference between the homeless people who have assistance and the ones you don't... you can smell it a mile away.

But one thing I never understood, if I was homeless in the Northeast or any cold region, wouldn't it make sense to start walking to warmer climate?




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