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CyberSecurity San Antonio kicks off donation drive for SAHA ConnectHome program

Did you know that 1 in 5 households in San Antonio does not have Internet access?  Even though San Antonio is home to the second highest concentration of cybersecurity professionals in the United States, San Antonio is also one of the most economically segregated cities in the nation, as well as a growing digital divide. However, every organization in San Antonio has the opportunity to reverse this trend by donating equipment and time to the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) through the CyberSecurity San Antonio (CSSA) program’s donation drive.

In 2015, the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) kicked off ConnectHome, a program created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  ConnectHome focuses on public housing residents with the three core components of digital inclusion: 1) Internet service; 2) computer devices; and 3) digital skills training.  As of October 2017, thanks to SAHA’s efforts, 1,314 participants received digital literacy training, 454 devices were distributed, and 773 households obtained Internet access.  Looking ahead to September 2018, SAHA plans to connect 400 additional households to the Internet, provide 14 hours of digital literacy training to 400 individuals, and award 400 computer devices to participants that successfully complete the training series.  On average, SAHA’s families earn an annual income of less than $12,500.  Nearly one-half of SAHA head of households are elderly or disabled, and 50% of residents are under the age of 18. The demand for training, devices, and Internet access is high, and it will continue to increase – additional devices, and guest speakers are needed.

After learning about SAHA’s ConnectHome program at the Cybersecurity Industry Council meeting in April, Bestica is the first company to take action during the CSSA donation drive. This week, Bestica donated six laptops, and a few monitors to the ConnectHome. This program’s mission impressed Bestica President Harvinder Singh because it is making a real difference in the lives of fellow San Antonians, and the SAHA staff provided a smooth process for organizations to contribute.

Connecting those most in need with resources is how we build an educated, empowered, and engaged workforce.  As your organization upgrades computers, laptops, and/or tablets, please consider donating the older equipment to SAHA, and its ConnectHome program.  For more information, contact Will Garrett and Amanda Keammerer at wgarrett@sachamber.org and akeammerer@sachamber.org.

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