updated 03:45 pm EST, Thu February 28, 2008
Google Phone Svc Homeless
Google today said it would make donation of phone service to Project Homeless Connect, an effort dedicated to providing ordinary services to the very poor. The search engine giant says it will supply any homeless person with both a phone number as well as a voicemail inbox, giving them an opportunity to communicate both with possible employers as well as with family that might otherwise never hear back. While the voicemail is accessible from any phone, the phone number is local and is treated like any number; the homeless do not have to feel pushed into a special service, Google explains.
The project is immediately active and currently limited to the San Francisco Bay area, but is planned to expand across the US and will primarily offer the phone services through homeless shelters; no one will be required to accept the phone number and inbox, but those who do will have the phone number for life or as long as necessary.