One of the things we realize at Compass is that for people to get to the next step in their own individual journey, they need a few basic things: food, shelter, ID, a mailing address, a safe place to bank, and in the last 15 years or so – a cellphone.
As we all know, if you don’t have a phone, you can’t get nearly anything done.
We partner with Access Wireless and use the Lifeline program to help people with low incomes get free phones and 15GB of data.
“All you need is a Washington address and ID,” says Lamar Hopkins, a subcontractor who works with Access Wireless. “The type of ID does depend on the person, but we can accept award letters from DSHS, social security, driver’s license, and more.”
The process takes around 20 minutes to complete and within an hour upon approval, they get a phone.
“As long as they use the phone at least once a week, we will keep the service on,” Lamar said.
The phones range between touch screens and flip phones and they have access to all the different apps. The Lifeline program is intended to help people experiencing financial hardship stay connected to families, childcare providers, schools, and potential employers.
We’ve worked with Access Wireless for a few years now and hundreds of people have taken advantage of this service.
“Even if someone has a medical issue or disability, we will work with them to get them their phone,” Lamar said. “We are here at the Compass Center on a weekly basis. We will work with anyone to get them this service. It is important that people maintain their connections.”