At a time where internet connectivity is so important, we know that vulnerable families experiencing homelessness need these resources more than ever. This is especially important in a large city like Spokane, which is why we are proud to announce the opening of WiFi-connected Lift Zones at three family shelters across the city with Family Promise 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, we are also providing new laptop computers to support the nonprofit’s 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.
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
The COVID-19 crisis has also worsened the gap in access to the internet and technology that adults and families living in homelessness experience, and we are uniquely positioned to address this issue by providing robust WiFi technology for free in shelters and community centers that lack consistent access to high-speed connectivity.
“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.”
This is a part of an ongoing relationship with Family Promise of Spokane and we are excited to continue to find ways to support this organization and its goals for finding homes for all families that need it across Spokane County.
“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.”
These Wi-Fi-connected centers are also a 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. Our Lift Zones initiative complements Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, the state’s largest and most comprehensive internet adoption program.
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.
For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials.