Frequently Asked Questions
What is Red Bear Connects—Free Voice Mail?
Participants describe Red Bear Connects as a 'phone without a phone'.
It is access to phone messages via any phone. People can call a number enter a mail box number and leave a message. Participants can access the message from any phone by entering a password or listen to their message via email.
It is a life line for maintaining contact with potential landlords, employers, service providers, doctors, health professionals, friends and family.
Participants receive a private, confidential voice mail box which is accessible through any phone and/or email 24/7.
It can be used to reduce phone services.
Some people use free cell wifi services to call out and use this service for incoming calls.
What Is It For?
It is to help people connect with their community, doctors, and mental health professionals; and, get jobs and find housing. It gives people who do not have a phone, consistent cell service or an answering service a way to be contacted. It can be used in unison with a cell phone or a land line to reduce costs of these services; however, it is a separate
It is free for anyone who is experiencing poverty in NS. It is based on the honour system. We accept referrals from service providers.
A person who makes more than $30,000 per year can use the service for a sliding scale fee.
Small organizations, social entrepreneurs and small businesses can use the service for free or a fee based on their revenue.
How Do People Register?
People can register for the service by phone at (902) 448-4744 from 10am to 8pm most days. If long distance is an issue they can call 211 and ask to be transferred to us. To sign up from a pay phone call 1-855-466-4994 to be connected with us at no charge. We provide in person sign up when possible.
How Does It Work?
It takes less than 10 minutes to register. The person using the voice mail service receives two phone numbers (a local Halifax number and a 1-800 series number) and a unique mail box/extension. They give these numbers to whom they need to be contact by. They also access their messages through these numbers using any phone. From a pay phone, they can use the 1-800 number without using any money. They call either number entre a code—0#—to go to the administrative area. The first time they call they are prompted to personalize their voice mail box and set up a confidential passcode. They can also receive a copy of their messages via email--It is an attachment that they can listen to.
How Do We Reach People Who Need the Service?
Poster the community
Send emails to service providers
Request media attention
Provide in person sign up at soup kitchens, shelters, community events among others when possible.
We request that organizations who provide services to this population assist by letting clients and associates know about free voice mail, make referrals and post the poster.
We Have a Number of People Who Could Benefit from this
Service—How Can We Facilitate this?
Call us to find out when we are available to come to your agency for in person sign up.
Can We Reach People Experiencing Poverty?
Have new services! Free programs! Let us know and we will forward your new services and programs to people using Red Bear Connects who have email via our newsletter. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your mailing list.
Who Uses the Service?
Our Community Impact Report is Here and is updated on an ad hoc basis and annually.