It may be something we do not expect, or quite possibly it is something we just do not think about, however, it seems that the homeless population in Washington DC is beginning to make good use of cellphones. A recent story in the Washington Post estimates that anywhere from 30-45-percent of the homeless population in Washington DC are carrying phones. Of course, based on the report it seems they are relying on pay-as-you-go models as opposed to a fancy smartphone, but even that is helping them improve their quality of life.
In the article there are several good examples of how they are being used, ranging from blogging about their experience, to using them in an effort to find a good place to stay or even use a restroom. Of course, there are some that are using them in much more efficient ways such as letting their families or loved ones know they are safe, to keep track of their food stamps and even helping with employment issues.
According to one gentleman, who went simply by the name of Chris, he was able to get a job and now he is able to give his boss a number to reach him when they need him to come in early or even pick up an extra shift. According to Chris;
“No one there knows I’m homeless,” he said. “I would never have been able to do this without the cellphone.”
He was even able to earn a promotion after just one year. Sure, plenty of us take our cellphones for granted, I often consider mine a luxury, something that is nice to have, but that I could truly do without. I guess this just goes to show how far technology and cell phones have been forced into our life. So I guess, the next time you are in Washington DC and a homeless person asks you for some money, it may not be going to something bad, they may just be looking to pay their cell phone bill.