The Cellphone Project (TCP) began as a mutual aid project collecting used smartphones, loading them with minutes and a SIM card, and passing them on to vulnerable, often houseless folks who had no other means of communication. See: Things you can’t do without a cellphone in 2023
After we began doing this work on a very small scale, it quickly became apparent that there was a much greater need going unmet than we had originally realized. We observed various barriers to receiving a government phone, and also noted the long timeline (often months), a luxury many do not have. We also began learning from various local agencies and organizations that they often have clients who present with this specific need, yet they have difficulty meeting the need as it is often “out of their wheelhouse.”
Recognizing the scale of the need, The Cellphone Project was born and incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit! TCP’s goal is to fill these existing gaps in access by both assisting our referring agencies that serve the houseless, vulnerable, and low-income populations of Western North Carolina and accepting direct requests for assistance. In doing so, we hope to meet this critical need by providing what is often a necessary tool when one is trying to get off the street or out of a bad situation.