Community Tech Network’s goal is to eliminate the digital divide and increase digital literacy. As we pursue this mission, we recognize the importance of local, state, and federal funding sources to reach more people in need.
In 2016, San Francisco’s voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition I, the Dignity Fund. The Dignity Fund was established to help the city plan for the current and future needs of a significant portion of SF residents. It guaranteed funding to expand supportive services to help older adults and adults with disabilities to age with dignity. In this current fiscal year, the $3 million contribution to the Dignity Fund at the Department of Disability and Aging was suspended — despite the ongoing difficulties brought on by the pandemic. The Dignity Fund is a valuable funding source for CTN. It has made it possible for us to expand our reach to more people, but many older adults in San Francisco still need our help.
Recently, CTN presented a short video presentation for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors to advocate for the renewal of the Dignity Fund. Here is what a few of our staff members had to say.
“The pandemic has shown us how important it is for us to all stay online and connected. One aspect that remains constant is our need to have access to essential services and resources that are remotely accessible.” —Stephen Minor
“Offering hybrid programming is great for our learners because it gives them options. Whether they want training in person or prefer to learn while staying at home, they will not be left behind. However, in order to support the various needs and preferences of our learners, agencies like CTN have to increase staffing and many other resources.” —Sabrina Tam
“Many of our Spanish-speaking seniors had very little exposure to computers prior to entering our programs for socialization. They also relied more on meeting their colleagues at senior centers. Due to the pandemic, most found themselves very alone, leading many to experience feelings of sadness and depression. With active participation in these programs, they learned valuable skills to connect with others, further helping to reduce their isolation and improve their mental health” —Carlos Sivira
“It is crucial that we continue to provide strong social services and resources to our elders. That means maintaining online programming while we move back in person to do our best to meet the needs of everyone. Our seniors have been through a lot this year and they deserve our full support. Please refund the dignity fund.” —Josie Boyle
While there are many critical funding requests for community services, we hope that San Francisco re-funds the Dignity Fund and continues to support older adults as they age with dignity.