With a $45,000 grant from Facebook’s Fort Worth Data Center, Urban Strategies Inc. is providing 175 Chromebooks to help former residents of the Cavile Place neighborhood stay connected.
“We are extremely excited to collaborate with Facebook’s Fort Worth Data Center to support our former Cavile Place residents,” said Simeon Henderson, senior project manager of USI Fort Worth. “This generous contribution will have an immediate positive impact on our families. Our collective goal is to empower families through digital literacy and other technology-based opportunities.”
The USI Fort Worth team distributed computers at four locations: Stallion Pointe Apartments, LVT Rise, FWISD Family Action Center and Handley Meadowbrook Community Center. Chromebooks will also be home delivered to residents unable to visit one of the locations.
Nearly 600 people will be impacted with virtual and social engagement. The computers will enable users to receive online tutoring, academic support, innovative program opportunities and online mentoring. Families will also be able to receive healthcare through telehealth and job training and digital literacy, which helps with economic mobility.
“This is a nice resource because I recently enrolled in an EKG class that Urban Strategies is offering for residents, and they’re letting us do it online,” said Kiandra Kelly, who received a computer for her family at Handley Meadowbrook.
“These Chromebooks are very expensive, and the way things are going now with COVID and not being able to go to certain places, I can find a job on the computer once I finish my classes.”
The Chromebooks are particularly meaningful to a community whose members have not always had access to Wi-Fi services or the latest technology. Connectivity disparities became more evident early during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many schools switched to online learning and students without home internet access fell behind.
“To succeed in our digital world, we all need access to reliable computers, Wi-Fi and the internet,” Lachelle Goodrich, Stop Six Choice Neighborhood director, said. “Our families will immediately be better off with this incredible gift from Facebook and support from our partners at USI.”
USI Fort Worth partners Cook Children’s, Center for Transforming Lives and Pathfinders also met with residents at the computer pickup locations to share information and resources.
USI, a St. Louis-based nonprofit, is leading the People portion of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative. USI is responsible for ensuring that former Cavile Place residents are supported throughout the multi-year effort and can return to their community as new residential development comes online.