Transforming lives through digital literacy.

Innovation Team working on whiteboard

CTN has teamed up with the City of Austin Innovation Office to teach people experiencing homelessness (PEH) to use Google Voice so they could maintain connections with service and social networks even when their phones are lost, broken, or stolen. The goal of this pilot program is to generate evidence about the viability and feasibility of improving service outcomes by increasing PEH digital literacy and use of cloud-based communications services through a volunteer learning program. The Innovation Office will use the evidence generated by this work to make recommendations on investing further in this approach.

CTN will train and place volunteers at the Austin Public Library’s Terrazas branch from July to November 2019, with the intent to serve between 25 and 30 learners during the term. Volunteers will be prepared to teach basic digital literacy skills and answer personal device questions, with the ultimate goal of encouraging the use of Google Voice. 

Community Engagement Lead for the city’s Innovation Team, Daniel Culotta, is excited to get the program off the ground: 

“The Innovation Office is very excited about this program. Our years of work in this space has shown that people experiencing homelessness often lack familiarity with a few key technologies that could improve their access to services and help them maintain critical information and contacts. We are confident that CTN’s human-centered, compassionate approach will help uplift our Austin neighbors while building a sound evidence-basis for this program.” 

For additional Austin program information contact Program Director Jessica Looney,

CTN Teams Up with City of Austin to Deliver Digital Skills to People Experiencing Homelessness

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Jessica Looney