SOURCE: GrandCentral

May 05, 2006 08:00 ET

GrandCentral's Project CARE Provides Free Local Phone Numbers and Voice Mailboxes to Homeless in San Francisco

Pilot Program Launches With Community Service Partners Including American Red Cross

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 5, 2006 -- GrandCentral, an emerging personal communications company, today announced the successful launch of Project CARE (Communications And Respect for Everybody). Project CARE offers those in need a permanent local phone number and voice mailbox, free of charge. Partnering with Project CARE as part of the pilot program in San Francisco are the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter, the Hamilton Family Center, the Riley Center, San Francisco Veteran's Administration Downtown Clinic and the South of Market Health Center.

"In the Bay Area alone there are unfortunately over 1,200 families annually who are affected by so-called 'everyday' disasters such as house and apartment building fires," said Kevin Kellenberger, Director of Disaster Services at the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. "With Project CARE we can offer those who find themselves temporarily displaced from their homes, a way to stay connected while they rebuild their lives."

Launching the program in San Francisco at the Project Homeless Connect event in April, GrandCentral signed up 238 homeless clients who received their free local phone numbers and voice mailboxes. In the three weeks since that event, over 1,000 voice mail messages have been received by those who previously had no means of communication. Working with support agencies such as the American Red Cross, Project CARE is able to offer those in need of both short- and long-term communication links to the real world.

"Without a reliable phone number, family members, medical service providers and potential employers have no consistent way in which to reach people in need, particularly those who find themselves part of the homeless community, whether they are temporarily homeless or part of the growing number of those who find themselves out on the streets for months at a time," said Craig Walker, CEO of GrandCentral. "The Project CARE initiative is designed to help those in need to reconnect with society and get back on their feet."

GrandCentral will continue to develop the Project CARE pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area through 2006 and plans to extend the program nationally.

About GrandCentral

GrandCentral is a privately held, emerging personal communications company. A GrandCentral community initiative, Project CARE (Communications And Respect for Everybody) provides free local phone numbers and voicemail to those without access to a traditional phone number. Project CARE provides these services at no charge and will save the voicemail messages for life. GrandCentral launched a pilot version of Project CARE in San Francisco in April 2006. For more information about Project CARE, email us at projectcare@grandcentral.com.

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