On Thursday, the state Public Utilities Commission expanded Lifeline, a landline phone service that donates free landlines to the poor, with cell phones. This is a good thing for many reasons -- e.g., it provides homeless people with a way of getting in touch with families, friends, life-saving emergency services, and potential employers. We're not sure if District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen knew that when she posted the following pic and comment to her Facebook page on Saturday afternoon.
Predictably, her comment provoked a bunch of fiery backlash, including Jesus Medellin who replied, "What is funny about being homeless? That is the kind of bs homeless bros have to deal with every day. Respect demands respect." And Anthony Sanchez who simply stated, "Poor taste." Cohen later clarified herself in the same thread, stating, "It's the irony of the image that made [me] chuckle, not the fact that the man could be homeless."
As of Monday morning, Cohen deleted the inflammatory post.
Homeless Czar Bevan Dufty and the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness have been pushing for free cell phone service for over three years now. According to the Chronicle, "those who qualify to receive free phones and monthly plans for 250 talk minutes and 250 text messages." Applications for a free Lifeline cell phone can be found at Assurance Wireless: 800-395-2171/www.assurancewireless.com or at Reach Out Wireless: 877-777-1914/www.reachoutmobile.com