LONG BEACH, California, May 5th, 2020: human-I-T, a nonprofit social enterprise focused on empowering underserved communities to gain access to computers, internet connections, and digital literacy training, has had its efforts brought into the spotlight this past month, receiving over tens of thousands of requests by local students, low-income families, and nonprofits in response to restrictions created by the COVID-19 response.
“This is why we are here,” said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Gabe Middleton. “1 in 4 Los Angeles students do not have access to a home computer or internet connection. These students are disproportionately minorities, low-income, may lack traditional housing, or a combination of these demographics. We believe digital inclusion is not only a right but an absolute necessity.”
human-I-T is responding to the crisis by partnering with school districts, universities, and nonprofits to help provide devices and connections to their most desperate populations. human-I-T has seen over 7,000 requests for home internet in April; 400% more than in an average month. Device requests have ballooned dramatically to 1700% of pre-COVID amounts. Large partners including The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Community College District, and Long Beach’s YMCA have submitted requests for 10,000 devices alone.
“For the employee who now needs to work remotely and the students who will be able to finish their courses and not fall behind. For the elderly who can keep their spirits up as they learn to video chat with loved ones - digital access makes all the difference,” says Marcos Cronander, Brand Manager at human-I-T.
Note to editor: human-I-T was formed in 2012 to address the social and environmental issues in relation to digital equity and overconsumption. Their approach was a financially self-sustaining social enterprise with the goal of simultaneously addressing the growing global E-Waste problem while providing digital opportunities to those that otherwise would not have them. human-I-T accepts E-Waste donations of desktops, laptops, tablets; any type of technology, that can then be wiped, refurbished, and repurposed to the benefit of those left on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.