IBM Impact Grant a Foundation for Growth at Austin Housing Authority Nonprofit Austin Pathways

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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As told by Catherine Crago, Strategic Initiatives and Resource Development The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) is a high-performing housing authority per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), receiving top marks on a variety of measures every year. As far back as 2001, HACA went beyond its mission to provide safe, decent affordable housing by establishing the HACA Scholarship Fund. Today, the agency has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships. And many HACA residents who … Read More

When It Comes to Digital Inclusion, Start Slow to Go Fast

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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As told by Catherine Crago, Strategic Initiatives and Resource Development This week the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative will host a webinar for participating cities to share what they are learning as they convene stakeholders in their cities to bridge the digital divide. Austin Pathways’ Unlocking the Connection program is credited as a model for other programs; we were pleased to share the Austin experience at the White House in August. Our approach … Read More

It Takes a Village to Bridge the Digital Divide

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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As told by Sylvia Blanco, HACA Executive Vice President Earlier this week, KXAN reported on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro’s visit to the Reimagining Cities conference. Recently, we met with Castro at the first convening of a HUD and White House initiative called ConnectHome, a program in which we serve as a Mentor City for 28 participating communities. Reflecting on our journey over the last nine months, we’d like to share a few lessons … Read More

Students Become Teachers in Tech Starters Class

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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Even the most technologically savvy person can learn something new each time they use a computer and connect to the Internet. At the graduation of the second Tech Starters cohort at Meadowbrook Apartments this week, Google Fiber Austin Community Impact Manager Parisa Fatehi-Weeks shared she recently learned how she could use Google Docs to help her mother, whose first language is Farsi, write and edit an important letter in English. “For years, I’ve been helping her write letters, but I’d … Read More

Tech Starters Celebrates Inaugural Graduation

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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Austin Free-Net and Austin Pathways graduated its first class of Tech Starters on March 2 at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin’s Manchaca Village. Each of the residents who completed the digital literacy class received a certificate of participation and a refurbished computer, complete with installed software, a mouse, keyboard and monitor. However graduates said they took away much more than devices as a result of participating in the pilot program. “My favorite thing I learned in class was social media because it opened up a … Read More

HUD Secretary Castro joins HACA and Google Fiber in Launching Nation’s First Digital Inclusion Program for Austin Public Housing Residents

Beth PhillipsDigital Inclusion

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro joined the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) and Google Fiber today (Nov. 20) to announce Unlocking the Connection, a community-based initiative to help bridge the city’s digital divide and help families build self-sufficiency that supports economic independence and transitioning from public assistance. “Closing the digital divide means that every child has a chance to succeed in the 21st century global economy,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. … Read More