(WXYZ) — The City of Detroit said it will be refurbishing 500 former government computers to donate them to local residents in need.
The city has partnered with local organizations to help bridge the digital divide. Their goal is to help low-income families gain access to much needed technology.
A large delivery made its way to the doors of Focus Hope, but it wasn't just any ordinary shipment. It was boxes of computer equipment that was donated by the City of Detroit.
The shipment made up more than half of the 500 former government computers being donated. The city said the devices will ultimately be donated to low-income families with the help of Connect313.
“There’s always been a need for digital equity in this city, and so as we begin thinking about residents who needed computers, the question begins coming up ‘well, where does one go to get a computer in the City of Detroit," Joshua Edmonds, the city's director of digital inclusion told 7 Action News.
He said the organization human-i-t will wipe the hard drives clean and make sure the devices are in working order. Detroit residents, like Tajia Odom and Zsadaja Drewery, stand to benefit.
Both have received their first laptops after learning about the opportunity through the organization Brilliant Detroit.
Odom explained, “It’s opened up a lot of doors because the pandemic... it really stopped a lot of things and my kids wasn’t able to go to school."
"It was kind of hard for me. I didn’t want them to lose what they would learn by them being so young. So, with them giving us laptops and teaching us how to use them, it really kept us up on game," she added.
Drewery said, “This was actually one of those moments where you always see something on TV but you never thought it could be you. So, it was like 'OK, this is so surreal'. This could be something that I always knew I could do as far as starting a business, being an entrepreneur.”
Jennifer Jambor, senior manager for Programs & Partnerships with human-i-t, said the organization has refurbished 17,000 computers for Detroiters.
”In talking with the community, what we’ve learned is devices are only a piece of the puzzle. What that means is they also need tech support, they also need digital skills training and they also need access to the internet. Human-i-t can help them with all of that," she said.
"Every device that we put into the hands of a Detroiter or anyone across the country comes with one year of technical support," Jambor explained.
If you’re interested in donating a device, just head to human-i-t's website by clicking here.