Community Tech Network is thrilled to assist clients from HomeRise, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides housing and other resources to individuals who have recently experienced homelessness.
Says Selena Turner, HomeRise’s resident services manager: “We work with a very underserved population. Many of our clients come from low-income backgrounds, are people of color, or are undocumented. This program is amazing because it is equal opportunity. It’s available to everyone. People can come down and learn the skills that they need to bring them closer to the Digital Age that we are all moving into.”
Learners meet twice a week for two weeks. The first two groups of learners have recently graduated from CTN’s program.
“The response has been great,” adds Selena. “The clients seem to be really enjoying the classes. When I peek my head in, they are attentive — asking and answering questions. After the first successful group, word began to spread more about the program, especially through word of mouth. People were ready and excited to sign up for the second round of classes.”
Selena also notes that CTN has successfully addressed HomeRise’s particular needs. “It was super helpful to have a bilingual trainer, Audrey, since we had several monolingual Spanish-speaking learners. Also, in the first round of classes, we had more beginner students. This second cohort came in with more skills, so Audrey was able to adapt and build off that by teaching more advanced skills, like using Google Docs and Sheets.”
CTN and HomeRise are hopeful that the classes can positively impact the clients’ lives, for example by learning how to use Google Calendar to manage their caseworker appointments.
“On the street, many people still use flip phones,” Selena says. “Folks are left behind without resources and may not know how to access them. It’s amazing to be able to bring these devices and digital skill sets to them.”