Google to give every SF homeless person free voicemail

For all of the debate about Google not fully adhering to their ‘Do no evil’ motto, it’s hard to hate or view with suspicion, a company that makes grand gestures such as this: they are giving every single homeless person (if they want it) in San Francisco a life-long phone number and voicemail. If this is successful, then Google plans to offer it to homeless people across the country.

Memo to other successful companies: take a page from Google’s book here and contribute to your community in meaningful ways. And yes, you do get to toot your own horn when you do! You would deserve the recognition and it would also serve as inspiration for others to follow your example.


  1. Give me a break…. I will agree Google is a great company, however, Grand Central is free to everyone. That’s kind of like “tooting your own horn” that they are offering free email to the homeless and if that works they are going to offer it to everyone.

  2. Here’s another point to keep in mind. Yes, Grand Central is free, but so are so many other Google products. The reason they do that is so that they can upsell other products or at a minimum advertising. What is there to upsell or how much can they market to homeless people who typically don’t have disposable income to spend on products that Google sells? I still maintain it’s a generous move. Just my $0.02.

  3. Everything you said is true… but let’s face facts… the homeless do not have access to computers or for that matter electricity a good portion of the time. Which means for the most part Google makes a lot of publicity for no real substance or cost. Now if they could also provide a means for the homeless to access that voice or email THAT would be news worthy. Just my $.02

  4. The homeless do not need access to computers or electricity. As the article mentions, they will be able to access their voice mail from any phone. I am sure it is not easy to apply for a job these days without a phone. Google is doing a wonderful service to the community and they should be applauded for that.

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