The Mayor’s Office of HOPE has successfully advocated with providers to expand Lifeline phone services to include Cellphones.

Two companies, Assurance and Nexus have been approved to sign individuals up for this service. Individuals who participate in government programs, such as SSI, Food Stamps, Cal Works, Section 8 or Public Housing, among others, are eligible for this service.

Once qualified, an individual receives a cell phone at no cost with 250 free minutes/250 free texts monthly. For $5. a participant can upgrade to 500 minutes/500 texts monthly. If minutes are exhausted, the phone deactivates until the 1st of the month when service resumes, so no one can accrue a phone bill.

Assurance has asked for our help to train nonprofit case managers and other staff who can help sign up individuals for no-cost cellular service. (We have offered to do the same for Nexus)

On April 15th- 18th (Mn.-Th.), we will work with Assurance to hold one-hour trainings that enable staff working with eligible clients to understand the necessary documentation and program features.

It may also be possible to set up smaller training events at an organization and a small number of direct sign-up events.

In the next few days we will firm up our training schedule and circulate to everyone receiving this e-mail. Please e-mail nima.eslamieh@sfgov.org to indicate interest and feel free to circulate this e-mail and the schedule to colleagues and sister-organizations.

One important aspect is that if there are multiple applicants likely from a single address, it helps to identify this for Assurance whether it’s a supportive housing building or shelter, for example.

We are very excited to open cellular access to large numbers of low-income individuals. Thanks for helping us to reach as many eligible clients as possible.


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