To ensure all families are well-equipped to succeed in the 21st century, digital inclusion efforts must cover Internet connectivity, digital literacy, and access to devices. Some of ConnectHome’s communities have gone beyond just meeting connection goals; they have been at the forefront of innovative and collaborative efforts to help HUD-assisted residents to maximize on their connectivity.
- Choctaw Nation, OK partnered with an assortment of Internet service providers to connect as many people as possible to high-speed Internet in spite of geographic challenges.
- Washington, DC extended Internet services already provided by the city's Office of the Chief Technology Officer under DC-NET. This partnership gives free Wi-Fi connectivity to HUD-assisted residents in targeted units.
- Choctaw Nation, OK invited the Youth Advisory Board to receive Internet safety training from students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Then, members of the board led their own trainings for community elders on Internet safety and online prescription management.
- In Washington, DC, partners such as Connected Living and ByteBack teach digital and intermediate computer training in the Connect.DC Mobile Technology Lab and at public housing developments.
- Tampa, FL use the MyOn Reader virtual library to train students and their parents. Classes included employment empowerment, STEM, and Elderly Connection. All trainings also include cybersecurity awareness.
- In Little Rock, AR, the public housing agency, city, Shorter College, Central Arkansas Library, Broadband Development Group, Best Buy, and GitHub partnered to provide digital literacy training to HUD-assisted households.
- Fresno, CA partnered with California State University in Fullerton to provide two communities with digital literacy training. Other training efforts resulted from partnerships with organizations like GitHub, which offered students digital footprint awareness and showed students how to use devices in the workplace.
- The Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority has two one-stop resource centers that offer free computer classes, training programs, and workshops. They partnered with 7000 Men to offer computer literacy classes for adults, and with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia to provide youth classes on STEM, communications skill-building, and coding to children and teens.
- Choctaw Nation, OK purchased 200 AZPEN 10.1 tablets for households that complemented digital literacy trainings.
- Kansas City, MO partnered with Surplus Exchange and Connecting for Good in the Digital Upcycling Program. Residents may purchase computers for $55, which were donated then refurbished in part by public housing residents in the Digital Scholars program. The city was the first to donate its surplus equipment.
- Rockford, IL partnered with PC Rebuilders to refurbish and distribute 50 devices for HUD-assisted residents that completed digital literacy training. Each device includes subsidized access to College Board's Khan Academy and Age of Learning's ABCmouse.
- Fresno, CA solicited funding from the California Public Utilities Commission, California Emerging Technology Fund, and local organizations to conduct digital literacy trainings and provide devices to families. All residents who complete eight weeks of training receive a free laptop.
- Atlanta, GA provides an Android tablet, a case/keyboard, and 12 months of free wireless broadband service to those enrolled. Families were required to attend one hour of training by AT&T, Centers of Hope, and Atlanta Public Schools to learn to use the device, Internet safety, and the student and parent portals.
- Memphis, TN partnered with T-Mobile and the Women's Foundation of Memphis to distribute 600 tablets.
PARTNERSHIPS & RECRUITMENT
- Tampa, FL applied the Collective Impact Model to result in partnerships with Hillsborough County Schools, Hillsborough County Public Service Libraries, Tampa Housing Authority Neighborhood Network Center, University of South Florida, Verizon, GitHub, and MyOn Reader.
- Little Rock, AR engaged Resident Counsels during program launch and in the advisory committee. They promote ConnectHome using Section 3 housing residents.
- The Atlanta Housing Authority, City of Atlanta, Atlanta’s Centers of Hope, the City of Atlanta’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Atlanta Public Schools, and the City of Atlanta’s Workforce Development Agency partnered for a total of 4,420 hours for ConnectHome projects.
- Atlanta, GA hosted four recruitment events at public housing, mixed housing complexes, libraries, and community centers to distribute devices and engage families on digital literacy. The team supplied food trucks and barbecue, music, and training fairs. At two launches, the program included the mayor, President and CEO of Atlanta Housing Authority, HUD's Regional Administrator, members of the city council, and representatives from Atlanta Public Schools. At another event, the Mexican Consulate sent a representative.