The children at the Coalition’s 50th Street Family Program
were all smiles when they received their own laptops. When
the U.S. began the shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 in
March, schools struggled with how to move forward with online
classes. It wasn’t just a matter of altering students’ curriculum.
Many lacked either internet access or home computers — and
some lacked both.
The Coalition had to figure out how to get technology into
the hands of the children who are homeless. While we have
a computer room, COVID-19 protocols were in full effect. The
goal was to get laptops in the apartments of all the children who
went to school. With proficient laptop skills, children can access
valuable educational software, expand their knowledge through
online resources and complete online homework assignments.
Laptops were provided by Bridging Tech Charitable Fund.
Due to substance abuse problems, a troubled marriage, mental and physical stress, Vernon Suggs could not keep a job and became homeless. He ended up at Blair Transitional Rehabilitation Program on October 8, 2016. To help Mr. Suggs get back on his feet, he received supportive services, counseling, job referral and placement assistance through the Coalition’s in-house Employment Program. As a result, Mr. Suggs has been employed since April 2017. As an onsite Service Technician at Van Ness Luxury Apartments, he pays reduced rent, makes $20 per hour and receives full benefits. In addition, he will receive free training and certification as an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning) Technician. Mr. Suggs confidence and determination has been restored. He wants to succeed and become more productive. He says he feels motivated to get up in the morning to join the working class and provide a service to others. Great progress Mr. Suggs; keep up the good work!
Mr. Wilbert Atkins was unemployed and lived between family members and homeless shelters. When Mr. Atkins gained custody of his daughter Sasha, she became Mr. Atkins motivation to improve his life. Mr. Atkins and his daughter entered the 50th Street Family Program on January 12, 2015. In January 2018, after receiving supportive services from the Coalitions’ 50th Street Family Program for over a year, Wilbert Atkins, a single father, and his daughter Sasha moved into permanent affordable housing. They love their new place and Sasha is doing well in school. Mr. Atkins stated that he feels like a man again and a productive father. He works full-time as an Information Technology technician at the Office of Chief Technology Officer (OCTO). Today, this family is safe, warm and self-sufficient.