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Computer Classes Help Bridge the Digital Divide

UPTOWN ROXBORO, N.C.--For several weeks Person Co. residents have attended free, weekly computer classes at the Piedmont Community College's (PCC's) Business Development and Entrepreneurship Center (B-DEC).  Through a partnership with Roxboro Housing Authority (RHA), residents and non-residents are learning skills such as using a mouse, typing documents and surfing the internet.

Classes using PCC grant funding for the instructor are part of RHA's Resident Digital Inclusion Project in partnership with ConnectHomeUSA & EveryoneON

ConnectHomeUSA is a movement to bridge the digital divide for HUD-assisted housing residents in the United States under the leadership of national nonprofit, EveryoneOn.

ConnectHomeUSA creates a platform for community leaders, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and private industry to join together and produce locally-tailored solutions for narrowing the digital divide.

Through these stakeholders' specific commitments to provide free or low-cost broadband access, devices, and digital literacy training, ConnectHomeUSA extends affordable access to low-income families, ensuring that high-speed internet follows them from their classrooms back to their home.

"Roxboro Housing Authority's vision is to narrow the digital divide for seniors and those with disabilities who live in HUD-assisted housing," said RHA Executive Director Felts Lewis.

The goal is to provide in-home broadband connectivity (free or low cost) to 25 seniors and disabled residents, provide connectivity devices, and train them to utilize these devices to reduce isolation and to improve health and wellness.

Participants were selected through enrollees of RHA's ROSS Services Program, which focuses on connecting seniors and those with disabilities with resources which enables them to maintain stable and independent living in their units.

RHA purchased each resident participant a flash drive.  After computer training, the agency plans to provide a free laptop with internet capability through a grant from an information technology non-profit called GitHUB.

For more information, contact Annie Graham, Resident Opportunities Self-Sufficiency Coordinator at (336) 647-4341


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