Engineering & Technology,
Human Service Organizations,
Mission: Imagine trying to find a job or housing without a phone. Community Voice Mail empowers people in crisis and transition by distributing free, personalized 24-hour voice mail access nationwide - directly linking individuals to jobs, housing and stability.
Since 1993, Community Voice Mail (CVM) has connected tens of thousands of homeless and phone less people, helping them receive messages about jobs, housing, medical results, their children, or support from family & friends.
A Community Voice Mail phone number looks like any other, eliminating the stigma faced by people trying to reclaim their lives without a permanent address. Clients at numerous human service agencies receive a private CVM number, and record their own personal greeting. They can then check messages 24-hours a day from any touch-tone phone anywhere.
CVM was created in Seattle in 1991, went on to win the Innovations in Government Award from the Ford Foundation in 1993, and has since won recognition from the Amazon.com as a finalist for its Non-Profit Innovation Award, the WA Software Alliance (WSA), National Philanthropy Day, and the Points of Light Foundation. Other funders include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and the Paul Allen Famlit Foundation. Thousands of community leaders, case managers in employment, housing, and domestic violence; and CVM users value CVM for its practical, dignified, and powerful impact on people’s lives nationwide.
As of November 2009, CVM has 45 sites in U.S. cities, including Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Jose.
Results: 70% of our clients report achieving one or more of their goals within 6 months of using CVM.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 40,000
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: We help people in poverty, transition and homelessness rebuild their lives by connecting them to jobs, housing, information and hope. We do this by customizing and distributing communications technology via a national network of community based services.