Transforming lives through digital literacy.

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Tech Network created Home Connect to address the needs of isolated seniors sheltering in place. Through this program we are providing devices, internet and virtual training to older adults in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin.

Overview

For 12 years, Community Tech Network has been a leading nonprofit focused on helping older adults live comfortably and safely in a digital world by providing digital devices and digital literacy training. Now that our daily lives have been disrupted by the impact of COVID-19, it is more important than ever for isolated seniors to have home internet and the skills to access it safely. The mandate to shelter in place impacts each of us differently. A younger person at home for an extended time can keep in touch with colleagues at work and interact with family and friends via email and many other platforms. They can order groceries and meals online and can follow the news about the health crisis through a variety of media, visit health-related websites, and contact their doctor electronically if they feel ill.

Our impact numbers since the program launched in April 2020:

138

Referrals to the program

6

Newly connected to home Internet

86

Devices Distributed

33

Working with a Trainer/Digital Coach

52

Completed basic training

400

Hours of instruction provided

For isolated seniors lacking the ability or the skills to access home internet, the COVID-19 isolation is not merely an inconvenience but a potentially life-threatening situation. An older person living in isolation may no longer have access to supportive social services networks providing meals, transportation, and companionship due to COVID-19 disruptions. Medical appointments will be canceled, and their groceries and life-sustaining medications may be running low. This isolation manifests fear and depression leading to inattention in following their medication regimen and eating regular meals. We would like to thank the following groups for their financial support of this program: Metta Fund, AT&T Foundation and Newhall Foundation Additional details about the program can be found in the blog posts below. If you are interested in referring someone to the program, please email homeconnect@communitytechnetwork.org.

Home Connect Stories

Click here for more Home Connect stories.

Program Participants

Together with our local partners, we have identified older adults who live alone, have little to no internet access and have a great desire to get online. The individual personalized training pathway for each older adult will vary based on their experience. Home-bound adults with internet access and prior exposure to a digital device may be connected directly to a volunteer Digital Coach for weekly virtual training sessions. If they need internet access, they may receive support applying for service. For those who are new to using the internet, they may receive a preconfigured tablet and begin virtual training with a CTN staff trainer to learn the basic, fundamental skills and to become familiar and comfortable with their device. They are then matched with a Digital Coach Volunteer for more advanced specific training that they have selected. We are currently offering training in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

Here is a current list of seniors who have completed the program since it began in April 2020:

August 2020

  • Consuelo R.
  • Ellen M.
  • Emelita T.
  • Lai Kwong K.
  • Mathur V.
  • Nae K.

July 2020

  • Adelaida M.
  • Alwin J.
  • Angie B.
  • Blanca M.
  • Bonnie P.
  • Carlos P.
  • Carol W.
  • Celina M.
  • Concepcion R.
  • Cynthia C.
  • Dan M.
  • Elmira L.
  • Hing Kum N.
  • Jenny L.
  • Kam Yuk W.
  • Linda V.
  • Linda Z.
  • Linna C.
  • Margaret K.
  • Maria B.
  • Michael C.
  • Philip L.
  • Scott A.
  • Shen Zhen L.
  • Socorro G.
  • Trina G.
  • Victor A.
  • Wendy C.  
  • Zhi Zhen Z.

June 2020

  • Arlene H.
  • Bascia L.
  • Doles S.
  • Emerson E.
  • Ethel W.
  • Gilbert C.
  • Josephine S.
  • Lee S.
  • Manolo S.
  • Rachel G.
  • Randal F.
  • Renee K.
  • Valerie T.

May 2020

Home Connect Participant Stories

Click here for more Home Connect Participant stories.