SALT LAKE CITY: During the weekend of October 13th, Bridging the Gap, a national digital inclusion program, distributed over 300 computers and internet service to low-income residents of Salt Lake City.
The computers were distributed in partnership with local housing authorities and nonprofits. Bridging the Gap is a nonprofit-led initiative of PCs for People and Mobile Beacon that helps community anchor institutions like housing authorities, schools, libraries and nonprofits provide affordable computers and internet service to individuals and families below the 200% poverty level.
Through the Bridging the Gap program, PCs for People distributed 300 refurbished computers and 4G LTE mobile hotspots with three months of unlimited internet service to eligible low-income individuals and families from the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake, Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation, International Rescue Committee, and Utah Health & Human Rights. The distribution events took place on site at the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, the Housing Authority of the County of Salt Lake, and Utah Nonprofit Housing Corporation. The Salt Lake City Public Library provided basic computer training and one-on-one technical assistance during the distribution events and will continue providing ongoing computer classes at the Library.
"Even though I work full time, I am still low-income," said Melissa Hoskin, a Bridging the Gap recipient. "So this is amazing to me, I have children who need the computer for everything… My two older children can’t do anything without the computer."
Mobile Beacon donated 200 computers, 150 mobile hotspot devices, and provided monetary and on-site support for the events. Comcast Internet Essentials also attended and donated 100 computers to the event.
In 2018, Bridging the Gap will partner with local organizations to hold distribution events in Austin, TX, Memphis, TN, Phoenix, AZ and La Junta, CO. Learn more at pcsforpeople.org.