The next year will see the homeless population of the UK get more access to means of connection.
Crisis, a charity working to stop homelessness in the UK, is teaming up with cell provider Tesco Mobile to give homeless people smartphones. Along with the phones, which can connect to Wi-Fi, they are giving away data.
Vulnerable groups need internet access
Access to internet is more important right now than ever before. Vulnerable groups in particular need to be able to access services that have gone online instead of being in person.
TeleHealth Access for Seniors is an example of a program helping a vulnerable group. TeleHealth gives technology to seniors who need medical care. With this technology, seniors can use the internet to connect with health professionals.
And now, Crisis’s partnership with Tesco is doing something similar for homeless people.
Stopping exclusion and isolation
The goal of this partnership is to combat digital exclusion. When homeless people are excluded from services that have gone online, they are being excluded from opportunities to get support. They can’t get their universal credit or try to find jobs or homes.
This initiative should also help prevent social isolation. Many of us are turning to the internet to connect with people we cannot see in person during the pandemic. With the combined efforts of Crisis and Tesco Mobile, people without homes will no longer be left out of the equation.
Crisis’s chief executive, Jon Sparkes, explains how lack of internet connection worsens things for homeless people:
Access to a phone or to the internet has been vital for so many people throughout the pandemic to stay connected, yet it’s something we know people experiencing homelessness often don’t have, and this adds to feelings of isolation and anxiety.Jon Sparkes
Crisis has already given 1,000 cellphones to homeless people. These phones let them “continue to access support digitally, reconnect with family and friends and find somewhere safe and settled to live online.” Going forward, many more people will get this opportunity:
We will build on this work and ensure a far greater number of people experiencing homelessness across Great Britain can connect with Crisis and other vital services to help them end their homelessness for good.Jon Sparkes
Article source: Positive News
Featured image source: Andreea Popa