human-I-T Helps Homeless Teens Re-Connect Using Donated Technology
Los Angeles, February 5, 2016 – For most American teenagers, having an Internet-enabled smartphone at their disposal is commonplace, and their ability to call home anytime they need assistance is taken for granted. For homeless teens, however, not only don’t these people have access to a phone, but in most cases, they have nobody to reach out to for help, even during their most desperate times. human-I-T (https://www.human-i-t.org/), in partnership with My Friend’s Place (http://myfriendsplace.org), is hoping to change this.
With the recent launch of its human-I-T Connect program, this non-profit organization is soliciting donations of used smartphones, tablets, and notebook computers, loading these devices with resources and information, and proving them to at-risk and homeless teens in the Los Angeles area with the help of My Friend’s Place.
On February 5th, the first group of donated and refurbished smartphones collected by human-I-T, were distributed to homeless teens in the Los Angeles area. “We have already seen instant and very positive results from this program. One recipient had had her possessions stolen, and was able to use her new phone to reestablish contact with a friend, who was ultimately able to provide the homeless girl with a place to stay,” recalled James Jack, co-founder of human-I-T.
The goal of Los Angeles-based My Friend’s Place is to assist and inspire homeless teens, and provide them with the free resources they need to build self-sufficient lives. The organization’s drop-in resource center serves more than 1,700 homeless kids and teenagers each year.
“Knowledge is power, and putting technology in the hands of a homeless teen gives him or her the ability to access the Internet and gather information, plus learn about resources available to them, make Internet phone calls, utilize email, and potentially reconnect with estranged relatives or friends, for example,” added Jack.
With new smartphone, tablet, and laptop computer models constantly being released, consumers are always upgrading to the latest and greatest model. Upon donating their old device to human-I-T, the organization refurbishes the equipment, adds apps and content to the devices, distributes the devices (free of charge) to homeless teens, and then provides training so the recipients discover all of the ways they can benefit from their newly acquired technology.
“Many people have old equipment sitting dormant in their desk drawer or basement. An old smartphone or tablet may have little or no value to its current owner, but it can become an indispensable and powerful tool to a homeless teenager whose survival often depends on the often meager resources available to them,” said Jack. “Using technology, our goal is to help homeless teenagers harness the power of information, and erase the digital divide that can keep them from accessing whatever resources are at their disposal.”
Anyone interested in donating an old smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer, can visit https://www.human-i-t.org/ or call (888) 268-3921. Donated equipment gets wiped clean of the existing data using industry-standard SecureErase tools, is refurbished, and then gets loaded with useful apps and resources by the organization’s team of tech-savvy volunteers. The donated technology is then distributed to people in need through human-I-T’s partners, which includes My Friends Place.