B.C. distributes smartphones to people experiencing homelessness

B.C. distributes smartphones to people experiencing homelessness
File photo/CHEK
B.C. is distributing cellphones to homeless individuals.

British Columbia is providing smartphones to those who otherwise cannot afford one.

The province said in a release issued on Tuesday that the Social Planning and Research Council of BC, known as SPARC BC, has been able to secure 3,500 smartphones to be distributed by community organizations that provide services and support for vulnerable people.

These smartphones have access to wifi and include a pre-loaded $10 7-Eleven data card, allowing users instant access to the internet.

Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, said in a press release that having access to smartphones provides those who are homeless or vulnerable with better access to online resources and services, such as arranging medication, safe supply delivery, and virtual doctor meetings.

“Providing smartphones for people on the street will help create easier access to those services, help people maintain physical distancing, and support people in staying connected to family and friends during this time,” said Simpson.

The province says a total of 1,000 smartphones have already been distributed, including 200 to individuals at were living at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver as well as Pandora Avenue and Topaz Park in Victoria.

An additional 2,500 smartphones will be provided by SPARC BC, through the Homelessness Community Action Grant program and in partnership with 7-Eleven, the release notes.



Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!