November 27, 2006
There's a new program to help the needy get their own voice mail box to stay in touch with family, and more importantly, employers.
Many of us may take for granted having a landline phone or a cell phone to send and receive messages...but when you don't have one, hearing back about a job or staying in contact with family can be difficult.
This new program is designed to make things a lot easier.
Homeless for a month now, Donald Razor is finding it hard to get back on his feet...especially, he says, when there's no way to stay in contact with potential employers and family.
A lot of times, you lose contact with your loved ones and everything," he told News 12. "Like during the holidays, there was no way of them contacting me."
CSRA Community Voicemail will open the lines of communication by setting up a free personal voicemail box for hundreds who are homeless or without a phone.
"At least this way, I would feel comfortable when I do call them, there is a place they can contact me back with the voicemail," Donald said.
Anyone without a phone or a way to receive messages can come to a pay phone, or any phone for that matter, dial their number, enter a code, and check their messages.
"There's no charge for the service, and so we're inviting everyone who needs a phone whether they are homeless or not," said LaVerne Gold of the United Way of the CSRA.
A dozen agencies are joining the United Way to spread the word and sign folks up.
The program launched Monday afternoon, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver put it to the test, leaving a message for one of the first to sign up.
Whether it's getting a Merry Christmas from a loved one or a call for a job interview, those who've done without know it's communication that goes a long way.
"I think it's very good that people are thinking about the homeless, and there is a need, and we appreciate it," Donald said. "Something positive for us."
If you'd like information on the community voicemail program, call 211 or 706-826-1495.
The program is up and running, it's free, and you can keep the voicemail as long as you'd like.
This is a national program, but Augusta is the first city in Georgia to get it.