Reader Question: How Do You Create Unique Email and Phone Numbers for Each Client…


Rachel joined CCSWOH in January new to resettlement work. Her job focuses on in-house job readiness classes and in-house short term vocational training

….even if the client isn’t computer literate and doesn’t have a phone?

Rachel Wiers, Employment Specialist at Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio (CCSWOH) in Cincinnati needs a better solution for creating online applications that require a unique email address and phone number. She’s exhausted all of her team’s phone numbers.

The perfect solution is to spend enough time with each client to help them understand why and how they need to establish and monitor an email account. Rachel knows that, but it isn’t practical to make that happen every time, yet. Meanwhile clients need jobs.

I know this is a common problem because I had the same one. Instead of solving it, there’s a trail of blueunicorns@… email addresses on every free email service out there.

I know our network has better solutions than this. Please help Rachel with your advice by commenting on this blog post or by email at



  1. Lisa Chittim says:

    I am new to this position as a VISTA here in Tucson Catholic Social Services MRS program. I am dealing with the same issue! What I have done is create an email account with their first name and last name, with a standard password so that anyone can check their “business” email.

    I would love to share and collaborate on any ideas as I am doing this blindly and solo.

  2. Ashley Cates says:

    I am running into the same problem. I cannot make anymore email’s with my phone number and normally put in the phone number of whichever of my coworkers is nearby at the moment so I can get the access code of the email address.

    I have considered making a Google number to see if I can have the codes sent there, but have not yet tried it.

  3. Daniel Wilkinson says:

    The way I got around this problem, when I was in the field (before joining Higher) was to create a job search gmail address using the client’s information (e.g., including their phone number, but to go into the email settings and have emails to that address forwarded to my work email. The downside is you have more emails coming into your inbox. But it is one way to handle the problem and also ensure you don’t miss any invitations to interview because your client isn’t checking or understanding their email. You’ll also want to make sure to leave a record of this email address including login information in the client file, so that other colleagues (present and future) will be aware that it exists and able to access it.

  4. Rachel Wiers says:

    Daniel, I like the idea of creating an email for job search purposes only. However, it does not cover the problem of needing a phone number to create an email!
    Ashley, the Google Voice number does work, but you’d have to keep creating more google voice accounts every 5 emails or so!
    All, I will let you know if I come up with a solution!

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