I’m not quite sure how you give away something for free that’s already free, but that’s what Google’s GrandCentral team is doing with Project CARE.
The initiative is designed to help San Francisco’s homeless get back on their feet–by giving them a free GrandCentral voicemail number employers can reach them on. They’ll also be able to keep in contact with local medical clinics.
TechCrunch claimed the announcement was just a re-hash of one made two years ago, then along came GrandCentral co-founder Craig Walker with a clarification:
The point of the announcement yesterday was not to restate the goals of Project CARE but to announce that we are taking Project CARE beyond showing up to these bi-monthly events and are now developing a self-service portal for agencies to be able to create these accounts directly for the homeless people they serve on a daily basis. It was also to announce that we are working directly with the Mayor’s Homeless Policy Director, Dariush Kayhan, to help us develop that portal to fully fill the needs of these agencies. The announcement also was to highlight how now that Google is behind Project CARE that we will have the resources to extend this service to homeless individuals nationwide.
Kudos to Google for helping the homeless, but there’s something kind of sad about the state of our society when you see this statement:
One man who used to be homeless said the right message can raise the spirit.
“Having your family, friends and loved ones being able to say ‘here I’m thinking about you, I love you, I want you to know you’re mine, and I miss you,’ can have a monumental change in one’s behavior.”
Why would we let a family member live on the street, but then call their voicemail to say “I love you?” If you love them, let them sleep on the couch!