I got a note last week about free voicemail from Carla Conrod, the executive director of a small group called the Red Bear Healing Home Society. Red Bear offers voicemail service for people who are homeless or in poverty, and who cannot afford a phone.
Sometimes people need a phone to get messages from potential employers, landlords, doctors, etc.
Here’s how it works: the person without a phone has to contact Carla, who will sign them up with a local Halifax number and an extension. Everyone has the same number, but there are more than 200 different extensions, a private extension for each person.So far, Red Bear has only been able to provide service in the local Halifax calling area as far as Timberlea and Enfield. Once the person is set up, they can give out the number and extension to anyone trying to contact them. The person will have to go to a phone to pick up their messages, but most people are able to get to a neighbour’s phone, a friend’s phone, a public library, a job search office, etc. There’s an unlimited number of messages and an unlimited time that the messages stay on the service, so if the person can’t get to a phone right away the message will still be there for later.
Right now the service is being funded by donations but the only person running it is Carla, who is a volunteer. The major expenses are the phone system itself, and there’s a lot of work to do to sign people up. So the Red Bear board is hoping to raise $30-40 thousand which would pay for the phones and also a part time wage for the person who’s doing the work.
If you would like to make a donation, contact Carla Conrod, the executive director. Contact info below. $250 would fund the service for one month.
Red Bear Healing Home Society
Cell: 902 448-4744
General Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director: email@example.com