California's homeless are cutting the cord.
The Lifeline program gives discounted landline phone service to nearly 1.5 million poor people in the state, but starting this week, cell phones are now an option, too. That's good news for a specific segment of the population: the homeless.
Jennifer Freidenbach is the executive director of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, and she explains that cells are increasing important "for folks to keep in contact with their employer or looking for a jobs."
To qualify, you must earn less than $14,702 a year. Then you're eligible for a free phone plus a plan with 250 minutes and 250 texts.
"If someone's outside and they witness an emergency situation or some kind of violence," says Freidenbach, "they're unable to call for help. So it's really important that folks have access to telecommunications whether you're housed or not."