Not having access to a cellphone is becoming more and more of a barrier to everyday services. (Photo: Pixabay)

Not having access to a cellphone is becoming more and more of a barrier to everyday services. (Photo: Pixabay)

Friendship centre seeks used cellphones

More and more services require digital connection

Wait. Don’t discard that smartphone when you get a new one or chuck it into the back of a drawer only to forget about it.

The digital world may be increasing but not everyone can afford a smartphone and that can create problems navigating any number of services.

To respond, the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society is accepting donations of used smartphones that still in good working order and which are unlocked.

“We are seeing an increased need of low-income individuals and people experiencing homelessness within the community,” said Emma Bowen from the local office of the friendship centre.

”Individuals that do not have access to a phone are at a severe disadvantage during a time when all support from housing, employment, health care, referral services to mental health all require a telephone to access.”

“Future employers cannot reach potential candidates, Northern Health may not have a number to reach an individual in crisis or needing medical assistance. It all comes down to a barrier,” Bowen added.

Based on what the friendship centre has seen so far, Bowen said the need is great and is ongoing.

Ideally, a donated smartphone would include a charger and accessories such as a protective case for ease of use of ongoing use of those who receive it.

A SIM card and service plan are the responsibility of the person receiving the phone, said Bowen.

“Clients usually stray away from contracts by going with the pay and talk option and purchase phone cards. The phone itself is just sometimes out of their reach,” she said.

For more information, contact the friendship centre at 250-845-2131.