For over 12 years, CTN has fulfilled its mission of helping seniors join the digital world by engaging them in a variety of public setting such as libraries, senior centers, public housing complexes, and other places where seniors congregate. With the mandate for all San Francisco residents to shelter in place, these venues area no longer an option for digital training. For seniors lacking home internet, an appropriate device or the skills to access the internet, the resulting isolation is not merely an inconvenience but a potentially life-threatening situation.
Rather than engage seniors in public settings, CTN has launched Home Connect to bring internet, devices and the training to use them into the homes of seniors who need it the most. Home Connect allows CTN staff and volunteers to remotely engage the senior learners while both the senior and the trainer remain in the safety and comfort of their respective homes. We are working with our existing training partners to identify seniors to become part of the first training group. Once identified, CTN staff contacts the senior by phone to evaluate their current digital skill knowledge level and the determine the availability of internet access.
When the Home Connect tablets arrive, CTN staff configures each one to a specific senior’s internet and email needs, and loads appropriate software enabling the staff members to mentor the senior remotely so both the senior and the trainer remain in the safety of their respective homes. The tablets are then shipped to the senior’s home. Once they arrive, staff walks the senior through the set-up process by phone, and the training begins. Additional Home Connect details and updates are available on the Blog posts.
We already have a $10k commitment from Metta Fund to support this initiative, as well as another significant donation to be announced in the near future. We will need additional financial support the local tech companies, foundation, and from individuals to support getting isolated seniors connected immediately. Follow this link to make a financial contribution to support CTN’s work to provide internet access, devices, and online training to seniors who need it the most.