Thanks to a partnership between the nonprofit human-I-T and General Motors, Southwest Solutions received a donation of 100 laptops to assist those we serve who do not have access to the computer technology they need.
The laptops will be provided to individuals in our mental health counseling, job training, adult literacy, homeownership assistance, and veteran-serving programs.
“Because of the Covid crisis, we had to transition many of our programs to online service delivery,” said Sean de Four, President and CEO of Southwest Solutions. “The digital divide in our community has made it difficult for many of our consumers to access the important services they need, and we are grateful to GM and human-I-T for this technology donation.”
The donation was announced at a special event at our Adult Learning Lab on March 26. Sean de Four and Gabe Middleton, CEO of human-I-T, both spoke and then distributed laptops to 10 Southwest Solutions’ clients invited to the event. Covid and social distancing protocols were observed.
“We are honored and humbled to empower local nonprofits like Southwest Solutions as Detroit works to close the digital divide,” said Gabe Middleton. “This technology will be used to schedule doctor’s visits, complete homework online, and access job opportunities.”
Charles and Frederic, two disabled veterans residing at our Piquette Square for Veterans, were among the 10 ten clients to receive a free laptop. The veterans will use their computers for telehealth with the VA and other important purposes. Three laptops were given to youth in our Counseling programs, who will use them for schoolwork and telehealth. Two laptops went to individuals in our job training programs. Ivan wants to learn a skilled trade so he can earn a good living. Thale is completing our truck-driving class and will use his computer for job searching. Three Adult Learning Lab students – Ashley, Maria and Sherial – will use their laptops to prepare for their GED exams.
Human-I-T refurbishes and repurposes lightly-used technology for distribution to low-income individuals and nonprofit organizations serving low-income individuals. Human-I-T is based on the west coast. GM provided human-I-T with $1.3 million in grant funding to support its expansion to Detroit, which has one of the highest rates in the nation of residents who lack access to computers and the Internet.
“The launch of human-I-T’s Detroit warehouse could not have come to the city at a better time as the pandemic showed us just how important it is to be connected,” said Lori Wingerter, Chief Philanthropy Officer at General Motors. “We’re excited to collaborate with Southwest Solutions to continue to put tech to work for Detroiters.”
Fox 2 Detroit did a story on the announcement of the laptop donation: ‘I’m trying to live in the Jetson Age’: Detroit nonprofit provides veterans with computers.