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Local Housing Society receives funding to continue free voicemail service

The BC government has invested $25,000 to a local community phone service for a second time.

The Prince George Aboriginal Housing Society has offered the free voice-mail program to more than 400 people since 2014, when the province initially provided the funding.

Minister of Jobs and local MLA Shirley Bond says she was influenced to request more money by the program’s results.

“It makes a difference in the lives of people who are not in the position to have their own mobile device, so from my perspective, it’s a fantastic program and I’m glad we can continue our partnership.”

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Community voice-mail allows participants and members of the society to find jobs in their area, book hospital appointments, and stay in touch with their families.

Bond describes this as a big life-saver for people looking for employment as well.

“People now have jobs where they can leave a number; can you imagine trying to get a job and not being able to leave a number where a prospective employer could contact you? These are basic opportunities that are missed because a person is not connected.”

Voicemail Coordinator Kay Robinson is grateful for the 25 community partners that support this initiative, especially for their clients who identify themselves as homeless.

“I don’t run this program alone, it takes the whole city and the staff of Aboriginal Housing too. There’s so much involved in running this program.”

Partners include the United Way of Northern BC, Northern Health, and the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

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