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Google is giving people in the San Francisco homeless community a free phone number and voicemail via GrandCentral, the service that was recently acquired by Google.
We’re told an announcement is supposed to be made on Google’s blog, and at an event today held by Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco today, although we haven’t confirmed this.
GrandCentral lets you route all your numbers and devices through that a single number. We’ve written about it here. It had offered the service for free for a limited testing period, but initially only provided 100 minutes per month to use to call out on it. After a testing period or after you run out of minutes, it starts charging per month.
Obviously, the assumption here is that the homeless will get the service for. The question is where they will get a phone. Or maybe that’s the point. Even if they don’t have a phone, they can route the number to the main line at the shelter where they are staying, or to a friend or relative’s home number.
Project Homeless Connect was started in 2004 by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, someone known to have socialized with the Google co-founders.