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Smartphones to be distributed to some Northern BC communities for homeless community

Some Northern B.C. community social service organizations will be receiving smartphones for their most vulnerable people.

Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Kispiox, Prince George, Prince Rupert, and Vanderhoof are among the Northern communities.

The smartphones will be able to connect to wi-fi and will include a pre-loaded $10 7-Eleven data card.

“The need for internet connectivity has never been as important as it is right now. For people who are experiencing homelessness, the closing of public spaces like libraries due to COVID-19 has reduced connectivity options and created barriers to supports and services,” said Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson in a statement.

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“Providing smartphones for people on the street will help create easier access to those services, help people maintain physical distancing, and support people in staying connected to family and friends during this time,” he said.

This program is through the Homelessness Community Action program and a partnership with 7-Eleven. The Social Planning and Research Council of BC has been able to secure 3,500 phones to be distributed.

So far, 1000 phones have been distributed.

According to a statement, SPARCBC will distribute the additional 2,500 phones to organizations and community response networks.

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