Comcast Washington and Family Promise of Spokane today announced that Comcast has donated 50 laptops and $20,000 to Family Promise. The laptops and funds will help bridge the digital divide for families transitioning into permanent housing with technology that they can use for schooling, seeking jobs, applying for assistance programs and more.
According to a report from Spokane County a total of 1,757 people from 1,513 households were counted as experiencing homelessness this year compared to the 1,559 people in 1,244 households counted in 2020. This year’s count marks the fifth consecutive year with an overall increase, presenting a growing issue in the area.
A lack of access to technology has been found as a significant challenge to those experiencing homelessness. A recent study found that one in three people experiencing homelessness reported no internet usage in the previous three months.
“Addressing the lack of access to technology and the growing digital divide among those experiencing homelessness is one of the driving factors for Comcast to make this donation to Family Promise of Spokane,” said Rodrigo Lopez, region senior vice president, Comcast Washington. “We have made significant investments in the Spokane community and believe our partnership with Family Promise will make a difference in the area.”
The donation continues Comcast’s partnership with Family Promise of Spokane after they partnered to open several Lift Zones at Family Promise shelters in Spokane in 2021. Lift Zones provide free robust WiFi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students and families get online, participate in distance learning, do homework, search for jobs, access healthcare information and public assistance for those transitioning out of homelessness. Comcast has launched more than 90 Lift Zones in Washington state since November 2020.
"As families move into permanent housing and become self-sufficient the need for connectivity becomes a question they need an answer for. As resources, education and even services such as telehealth move increasingly online, affordable internet and the means to access it becomes a necessity rather than a luxury. I can’t overstate the importance of Comcast's donation and their ongoing support of our program and families. The internet and laptops they have provided have allowed children to continue their education, parents to obtain GED's and apply for jobs and receive job training. It has allowed families to stay connected with friends and family outside the area, and helped provide a bridge to a healthy, sustainable future,” said Chris Harbert, Emergency Shelter program manager, Family Promise of Spokane.
"From helping our homeless children attend virtual school to having a way to meet with doctors and other service providers Comcast has helped set the families we serve up for success. I can not imagine what we would have done through the pandemic if we did not have this partnership with Comcast," said Joe Ader, executive director, Family Promise of Spokane.
The computers and monetary donation announced today are part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach 50 million people over the next 10 years with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. Project UP is Comcast’s company-wide initiative to advance digital equity by connecting people to the internet; opening doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and storytellers; and creating new career pathways in the arts, media, and technology.
For the past 10 years, Comcast’s Internet Essentials program has connected more people to the internet and to the technology they need to participate and excel in an increasingly digital world. The program offers low-income families high-speed broadband internet service for $9.95 per month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized, low-cost -Internet-ready computer and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online and in person.
About Family Promise of Spokane
Family Promise of Spokane helps local communities coordinate their compassion to address the root causes of family homelessness. The organization taps existing local resources to empower families towards economic stability. Families come to them in crisis; Family Promise of Spokane helps them rebuild their lives with new skills and ongoing support. The nonprofit addresses the issue holistically, providing prevention services before families reach crisis, shelter and case management when they become homeless, and stabilization programs once they have secured housing to ensure they remain independent. For more information visit www.familypromiseofspokane.org/
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.Contact Details
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