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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Homeless, Poor Can Get Free Cell Phones

San Diego residents who earn less than $15,000 may be eligible to receive free cell phones, thanks to a new initiative from the Lifeline Assistance program. The program has been approved by the Public Utilities Commission and services are being offered through Assurance Wireless and Reach Out Wireless.

A spokesman from Assurance Wireless estimates that up to 245,000 San Diego County residents may be eligible based on their participation in public assistance programs. Services include a free phone as well as 250 talk minutes and 250 text messages a month, in addition to access to a voicemail account and caller ID.

Once an application is submitted, it will be reviewed and customers will receive their phone within 10 days. Customers will then need to get an application from the Public Utilities Commission to prove their eligibility. If eligible, they can begin their free services.

Customers will need to re-certify for the program on a yearly basis.

Here’s how to apply:

Call Assurance Wireless: (800) 395-2171, or visit www.assurancewireless.com;

Or call Reach Out Wireless: (877) 777-1914; or visit www.reachoutmobile.com

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