"Having a phone isn't even a privilege anymore -- it's a necessity," said Rommel McBride, 50, who spent about six years on the streets before recently being placed in a city housing program. He has had a mobile phone for a year. "A cellphone is the only way you can call to keep up with your food stamps, your housing application, your job. When you're living in a shelter or sleeping on the streets, it's your last line of communication with the world."
From an interesting article about cell phones and the homeless. I've got to admit, I've seen homeless people with cell phones and thought "Really, you can't afford food but you can afford a cell phone." But this article points out that a cell phone can be a lifeline for people forced to live on the streets. The pay-as-you-go phones offer flexibility for people who can't afford a contract and don't have an address to which you can send bills. And it's potentially a way for people to get contacted about jobs.