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03/24/2021

Local Bank Helps Bridge Digital Divide

ROXBORO, N.C.--Roxboro Savings Bank donated $7,500 to Roxboro Housing Authority (RHA), furthering the agency's efforts to bridge the digital divide among its residents. RHA purchased and distributed computers, provided training and commenced broadband WI-FI installation at each public housing site.

"Roxboro Savings Bank is investing in an initiative that helps some of Person Co.'s most vulnerable citizens navigate a most important means to function in modern times-information technology. It speaks highly of the bank's board to make this financial commitment," said RHA Executive Director Felts Lewis.

Keith Epstein, Executive Vice-President/CEO of Roxboro Savings Bank, announced the donation following its January 2021 Board meeting. Epstein said, "Thank you for the opportunity to play a small role in this fantastic initiative."

In 2018, RHA joined ConnectHomesUSA/EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by creating digital equity for low-income residents in public housing communities nationwide. Through a $2,000 micro grant from the IT nonprofit GitHub, RHA purchased its initial computers with accessories.  In 2020, RHA used CARES Act funds to purchase and distribute 75 more devices along with a user manual. 

RHA is in its second year of the digital inclusion initiative. Laptops and/or desktop computers were distributed to school-age youth and adults to continue educational and employment goals. 

Piedmont Community College provided senior residents 10 weeks of instructor-led basic computer training.  An internet service provider contract was signed with Spectrum after a procurement process. Fiber optic installation is complete.  

Final work to install networking equipment for WI-FI at each of its four communities starts in Spring 2021.

RHA continues to seek alternate funding opportunities to support free, broadband WI-FI.  For more information, visit www.roxboroha.com or call (336) 599-8616. 

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