Homeless in D.C. keep up with technology
March 23, 2009, 10:10 am
Filed under: Washington DC | Tags: , , , , ,

Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

A few weeks ago, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Miriam’s Kitchen,  a Washington, D.C. homeless shelters near the campus of The George Washington University.   A photographer snapped a shot of a man who was presumably waiting in line to be served and was photographing Mrs. Obama using a cell phone. As would be expected, Conservatives reacted with dismay.  The de facto head of the Republican Party, radio personality Rush Limbaugh, made light of the situation. Commenting on his syndicated radio show, Limbaugh said:

Like, you’re going to have to see the first lady behind the counter at McDonald’s when you go in there as your poverty-stricken day drags on — take a picture with your cell phone while you go in there and get your McNuggets or whatever’s being handed out that day.

But cell phones are very important to those on the street. The Washington Post ran a story on its front page today noting the increasing use of technology by homeless in D.C.

Advocates who work with the District’s homeless estimate that 30 percent to 45 percent of the people they help have cellphones. A smaller number have e-mail accounts, and some blog to chronicle their lives on the streets.

A phone, according to Gwendolyn Bell, is “the only way you can call to keep up with your food stamps, your housing application, your job.”

Some get their phones from relatives who want to know they have a way of staying in contact. Ronald Collins-El, 45, got one from his nephew. While he stays at the homeless shelter on the campus of St. Elizabeths, he uses it to keep in touch with family members and to organize his numerous medical appointments, payments and bills.


1 Comment so far
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Hey this is where GW Jumah is held. I pray here every week.

Comment by sophister

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