SaskTel expands Phones for a Fresh Start program

SaskTel announced the expansion of the Phones for a Fresh Start program to include youth transitioning out of permanent or long-term care from the Ministry of Social Services.  Cell phones and phone cards will be provided to youth to help in their transition to independence.

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Since 2009, through a partnership with the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start has provided free cell phones and phone cards to individuals fleeing domestic violence.  By expanding the program, SaskTel is assisting another group in the province who requires connectivity to vital support networks to succeed.

"Never has staying connected been more important, especially for those at risk," Minister Responsible for SaskTel Don Morgan said.  "I commend SaskTel and the Ministry of Social Services for their collaboration on the expansion of Phones for a Fresh Start to ensure youth remain supported."

"SaskTel is a major contributor to the quality of life in Saskatchewan," SaskTel President and CEO Doug Burnett said.  "Phones for a Fresh Start has done that for people fleeing domestic abuse and will now do that for young people transitioning out of care of the Ministry of Social Services.  Providing this 'fresh start' enables youth to find a home, look for a job and stay in touch with support networks."

"For youth transitioning out of care a phone can be a lifeline, enabling them to stay in touch with vital support networks," Social Services Minister Lori Carr said.  "We are proud to work with SaskTel to expand such a great program to youth in our province so they can stay connected as they set out on the path to independence."

Youth who are currently transitioning from ministry care, such as foster care or group homes, will be contacted by their worker and arrangements will be made for them to receive a cell phone and one-time $20 phone card.

The SaskTel Phones for a Fresh Start program is partially funded by the proceeds of recycled cell phones, batteries and accessories donated through the program.  SaskTel contributes the remaining funds.  Everyone is encouraged to drop off their old cell phones for recycling at SaskTel Stores and participating dealers.