Tuesday, March 4, 2008

San Francisco homeless to get free phone numbers

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Google announced on Wednesday a plan to partner with all the homeless shelters in San Francisco and offer free phone numbers and voice mail accounts to homeless individuals, giving people the ability to distribute their own phone numbers and retrieve voice mail messages left for them whenever and from wherever they choose.
Kudos to Google. That kicks ass.

I think it's shameful and beyond comprehension that we have so many homeless here in the U.S.

I had some friends visiting from Australia a while back and I asked them what it was about America that struck them the most. They said, "The poverty and homelessness." They could not understand that a nation so wealthy could have so many destitute people. It was truly shocking to them. They told me that to live on the street back home, one would have to want to.

I am a capitalist at heart, but I think in a country where we throw around billions like penny-candy on all sorts of ridiculous boondoggles and pork-barrels, that it's quite acceptable, even honorable, even mandatory that we break off a little for those that are struggling. (and I'm not talking about a social welfare system that gives so little that its so-called beneficiaries are locked in a poverty cycle with little chance of escape; that is obviously not working) It is well within our abilities to properly educate and empower our people so that poverty and homelessness would be just as alien to us as it is to the Aussies, with a minimum of social welfare. It would be good for the economy and it would wash some of the stain off our collective souls.

While we're at it, let's pay and educate our workers well enough so that they can live decent lives. A few meager percentage points off corporate margins and war spending would go a long way. Higher paying jobs would make working a far more desirable option, people would spend more, more would get done and businesses would still prosper. Better educated workers would make wiser and healthier decisions and therefore would put less strain on governmental, economic, insurance and health-care systems while forcing businesses to sharpen their games to compete. It's a win-win scenario.

I've been homeless before, (and worked 40 hours a week while being so) and I can assure that people don't want to live like that. They want the opportunity and ability to improve their lives. For those few that are so screwed up that they can't function in society, well, we have to take care of them. For real. End of story.

via Disinfo.com

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