We know that the digital divide affects low-income communities, so it has been a priority of ours to address that need. Our very first partner was a housing development (Mission Housing’s Valencia Garden), and a few SF Connected partner labs are located in housing (Rosa Parks, George W. Davis Senior Center, Eastern Park Apartments, and Curry Senior Center). We were only able to make a substantial impact in the lives of low-income residents through a grant program made available through the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). Our first partnership kicked off in 2015 with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), and the following year we began working with BRIDGE Housing and Episcopal Community Services (ECS).
Our newest partner is San Francisco Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC), with four properties in the Bayview area of San Francisco. We’ve delivered training and devices to nearly 700 people as part of this project and have plans to distribute at least 250 more by June. There’s still an opportunity to apply for this fund: The next deadline is April 1, 2018. Visit the CPUC website for more information.
Last fall we began a partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) to train 20 lab apprentices, who will in turn provide training to their neighbors. We hope to replicate this type of program as we deepen our relationship with these housing partners and their residents.
Our most recent partnership is with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Housing and Community Development Work (MOHCD) to provide training and support in two of their RAD properties. This is a short-term pilot that we hope will grow into a longer term partnership to build the training capacity of our partners and their resident leaders.
If you work in affordable housing and have residents in need of digital literacy training or devices, please contact me to discuss how we can partner.