Community Voicemail Program

What would YOU—a potential employer or landlord–do if you dialed a number on an application and were greeted with either; “the number you have reached is not in service” or “Hello, Lookout Emergency Shelter…”

Community Voice Mail (CVM) continues to be a powerful tool in connecting impoverished and vulnerable citizens to their goals.  It is a simple and inexpensive tool that “connects the dots” between the social services we believe in and the successful outcomes we expect from them.  Having a stable phone number with your voice as greeting boosts confidence and dignity when it is needed most; when an “at risk” person seeking social services sets goals and works to achieve them.

For more information, contact us at:


Parent Link Centre

19 Erinwoods Drive SE

A businessman reaching out for a handshake

Overcoming the Stigma

There are free phones available at all 100 CVM Partner Agencies where CVM members can check their messages in a timely manner.  These free phones are also available at libraries, community centres, SROs and the lobbies of social service agencies where people in crisis and transition seek resources.  For those who are homeless and impoverished, finding a free phone to call out on and check messages is not a problem—the problem is how does your employer, doctor, court worker, parole officer, sponsor, landlord contact YOU?  It is easy to forget that there are people who do not have even the most basic tool of communication—their own phone number. Without it “poverty stigma” results in red flags and lost goals and opportunities.

People who work in social services work with their vulnerable clients to create “game plans” for success.  Whether that success comes in the form of employment, housing, health care, safely fleeing abuse or achieving a better quality of life the services provided are only part of the equation:  how can this person ever improve his or her life when they can’t make the connections that count?  What will ever change for a person if he or she doesn’t have the most basic tools to navigate that change?

A landline phone