Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch’s cellular company Beast Mobile is partnering with Fam1st Family Foundation for a pilot project that will provide the homeless in Oakland, Ca. and Seattle with smartphones.
The Phones for the Homeless initiative is working to provide 3,000 free smartphones with three months of service to the homeless. The Beast Mobile app is loaded on to the smartphones and allows users to earn credits by engaging in surveys, watching videos and playing games.
Beast Mobile, a no-contract mobile service on Sprint’s network, lets its customers save money on their plans by watching personalized offers, discounts and ads through the Beast Mobile app.
“The future of mobile phones is free,” said Lynch’s business partner and founder of FreeMo Leigh Hunt. FreeMo is an advertising platform that gives users credits toward their data plans when they interact with ads on their smartphones. FreeMo’s technology has been incorporated into Beast Mobile.
“It’s really about giving back,” Hunt said.
Fam1st Family Foundation was founded by Lynch and fellow NFL athletes Joshua Johnson and Marcus Peters in an effort to strengthen Oakland’s community.
Beast Mobile and Fam1st Family Foundation are planning to use the smartphones to track the geography and user habits of the homeless to better serve that population. The phones will also allow Oakland and Seattle’s housing-insecure to get on the internet, stay in contact with family, and access social services.
Bright Corporation has committed 3,000 smartphones to the initiative and Phones for the Homeless is trying to raise $250,000 for the three months of service.