Your Call Is Important

Until last week, Dereck Shelton was nearly unreachable. Homeless for the past year, Shelton had no phone number to give to friends, family and potential employers. "People in a position to hire make judgments about a person without a phone," he says. "They don't take that person seriously." That may change, thanks to Project C.A.R.E., a new program run by the San Francisco communications start-up GrandCentral. C.A.R.E. is giving Shelton and hundreds of other homeless people free permanent numbers, which go to voicemail boxes. The plan may be thwarted, though, by the Federal Communications Commission, which is considering a $1 monthly...

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