Address: 230 E. 3rd Suite A
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Officer: Gabe Middleton, CEO
GrantPurpose: human-I-T plans to provide 200 computers equipped with 1 year of tech support and a 1 year warranty to low income Long Beach students and their family members needing to study and work from home in response to COVID-19.
Periodoftime: April – July 2020
1. What disaster recovery service have already been provided? : human-I-T connects low-income individuals and nonprofits to technology, low cost internet connectivity, and digital literacy training, with a high population of those we serve in our home city of Long Beach. By refurbishing and redistributing instead of recycling electronics, our team transforms e-waste into opportunities to promote self-sufficiency and help underserved individuals enter the digital age. human-I-T’s equip* program collects unwanted computers (also known as “e-waste”), refurbishes them, and redistributes them back into families so that children and their parents have a computer in the home. All computers we provide come with 1 year warranty and 1 year tech support to ensure recipients are truly set up for success.
As school districts have moved to fully remote education temporarily due to COVID-19, countermeasures are being made to address the issue of students not being able to continue their schooling in a classroom. However, the reality is that many families do not have access to a reliable internet connection and/or a computer in the home. The Pew Research Center has found that as many as ¼ teenagers do not have a computer in the home or stable internet connection to continue their studies through remote learning at this time, which means many will fall behind during the duration of this pandemic.
At the same time, families that are being asked to stay inside are struggling due to the lack of a secure internet connection or hardware in keeping up with personal finances, remote work, and daily news updates. In this pandemic there is a blatant increased need for technology and computer hardware, and human-I-T is working with several school districts and nonprofit groups, especially in Long Beach to make sure that the most vulnerable families and individuals stay up to date giving them access to the necessary tools and resources needed during this time.
In the past two weeks, we have received requests for over 11,000 laptops to support students and their families needing to work remotely. Our team is working closely with school districts and community groups including YMCA of Long Beach and Long Beach Unified School District to place laptops in the hands of low income students’ hands as safely and quickly as possible to meet this growing demand.
2. What disaster recovery service will be provided by this grant? : Due to the sudden need for remote learning from several different school districts, there has been a growing influx for services in perfect alignment to what human-I-T can provide, so that families may get the computer hardware they need and/or low-cost internet as fast as possible. As an essential business, we are still operating at full capacity, so that our warehouse staff can keep up with the demand. Thus, we are able to expand and add additional support to reach a wider population with better customization to match each organization’s need to how many devices are being sent and with what.
We will continue to prepare and distribute devices to students in need, but not all school districts and nonprofit organizations have a budget in place to purchase the devices. We want to keep providing tech and internet support, and a grant from the Long Beach Disaster Relief Fund would greatly support the current work that we are doing in terms of getting devices and internet connection in the homes of low income students in Long Beach. With the average family size being three people and $20,000 allowing us to provide 200 laptops, we estimate 600 people will benefit from this program.
3. What organization and or individuals will you assist? : Currently, we are collaborating with several nonprofit organizations and school districts in and outside of California to provide their students and families with the necessary resources for remote learning. Some examples of these would be: YMCA of Long Beach, Long Beach Unified School District, Los Angeles Community Colleges District, the City of Commerce, Mt. San Antonio College and El Rancho Unified School District to name a few. In all of these collaborations, human-I-T is taking in the needs of each organization in order to send them the amount of computers needed for their current population and connecting their recipients to low-cost internet.
human-I-T works with the populations that are most underserved in terms of digital access. One hundred percent of our recipients are low-income. We use household income and enrollment in specific government assistance programs, including SNAP, SSI, and Medicare, as indicators of low-income status. Individuals that make 200% of the federal poverty level threshold qualify for donations. Over 80% of recipients are students and families of color. The vast majority of our donations are placed within Long Beach.
4. What other disaster recovery funds have you received? What amount?
At this time we have not received any dedicated disaster relief funds to support our COVID response efforts at the federal, state or local level.
5. What other disaster recovery funds have you applied for?: We are in the process of submitting an application for funding to the disaster relief fund created by the Sempra Energy Foundation. We are also in the process of connecting with other foundations and some corporate partners to assess a financial partnership to support our COVID-19 response efforts.