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Spokane Nonprofit Using Technology to Advance Family Programming During the COVID19 Pandemic
Spokane, Washington --News Direct-- Comcast Washington
Comcast Washington and Family Promise of Spokane today announced the opening of WiFi-connected Lift Zones at three family shelters across the City of Spokane. Comcast is equipping the Family Promise shelters with free robust WiFi technology that will help dozens of vulnerable students participate in distance learning and do their homework, and ensure adults and families are able to access needed online resources as they seek to transition into a stable home.
In addition to Lift Zones, Comcast is providing new laptop computers to support the Family Promise of Spokane transitional housing program. The new devices provide families transitioning into permanent housing with technology that they can use for schooling, seeking jobs, applying for assistance programs, and more.
The COVID-19 crisis has also worsened the gap in access to internet and technology that adults and families living in homelessness experience. Comcast Lift Zones are uniquely positioned to address this issue by providing robust WiFi technology for free in community centers that lack consistent access to the internet.
Lift Zones at the following shelters will offer internet connectivity and technology access in a safe and positive place and strengthen Family Promise of Spokane’s efforts to help families transition from homelessness into a more stable situation:
The Mission House– 2012 E Mission Ave Spokane, WA 99202
Open Doors Family Emergency Shelter– 2002 E Mission Ave Spokane, WA 99202
The Harston House – 904 E Hartson Ave Spokane, WA 99202
“For the families we serve, the internet is a key tool that helps them connect to so many different resources they need. From online learning for their kids, to finding housing and employment, to applying for government support and resources, it is invaluable, especially during this global pandemic,” said Joe Ader, Executive Director, Family Promise of Spokane. “By providing free connectivity to families, Comcast is helping us make a tremendous impact at a time of when it is deeply needed.”
The new robust WiFi coverage is so effective it has reduced the number of troubleshooting cases the IT and Data Systems team manages for families onsite, allowing it to focus on other programs the shelter is building to address homelessness in Spokane County.
“Internet is one of the most important resources we offer our clients and prior to the Comcast Lift Zone technology we would typically have roughly 60 connectivity troubleshooting issues in a given week,” said J Wylie, IT and Data Systems Manager for Family Promise of Spokane. “The new WiFi connection has greatly reduced these issues, allowing my team to focus on other technology and data projects that will help us better understand and serve our local vulnerable community members.”
“Our work with Family Promise over the last several years has been focused on addressing digital equity gaps, by providing affordable internet connectivity to local families transitioning out of homeless,” said Kris Workman, Senior Director, Comcast in Spokane. “By opening Lift Zones at these shelters, we can take that work one step further by powering these Family Promise buildings with robust WiFi connectivity that their families can use while they are onsite.”
Lift Zones complement Comcast’s Internet Essentials program and is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet in and outside of the home. Comcast plans to complete 80 Lift Zones in Washington by the end of 2021.
Internet Essentials is Comcast’s signature digital equity initiative and the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. Since 2011, Internet Essentials has connected more than 10 million people in America to broadband internet at home, including 60,000 in Spokane County.
Today’s announcement also comes on the heels of Comcast’s recent $1 billion commitment over the next 10 years to help further close the digital divide and give even more low-income students and families the tools and resources they need to succeed in a digital world.
For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials
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 with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe's leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed Internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
Family Promise of Spokane
View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/comcast-and-family-promise-of-spokane-launch-free-wifi-connected-lift-zones-at-local-shelters-766838775