Broadband Grant Expands Technology Access for Refugees
There are many things refugees must do to get settled when they arrive in America. For some people, technology access might seem like a small priority when compared to things like housing, employment or school enrollment, but in today’s digital world, access to technology can provide the foundation for success.
In the instances where I can provide my client with a laptop and internet access, the positive outcomes are significant.”
“Families can pay bills, access language learning, support their children in school, interact with employers and more. This is powerful in building a family’s confidence to solve issues independently and therefore integrate and engage successfully in their communities,” said Ruth LePage, Arrive Ministries Reception and Placement Manager.
In addition to providing essential services and assistance to 409 newly arrived refugees this year, a broadband expansion grant awarded to Arrive Ministries in May, 2023 will expand our ability to help eligible refugees gain access to free laptops, digital training and affordable internet service.
Beginning this spring, with the support of Comcast, Arrive Ministries will expand and strengthen our technology empowerment programming to refugees and immigrants through a $100,000 Broadband Expansion grant from Hennepin County, in partnership with the city of Richfield.
The grant will fund laptops for more than 100 refugee households and provide resources to upgrade our technology classrooms, equipment, and hire a dedicated staff person to manage the technology program and volunteers. Additionally, due to a recent gift of 120 laptops from Comcast, who aligns with our mission of pursuing digital equity, Arrive Ministries will be able to distribute a total of 220 laptops to eligible refugee households.
“As we aim to reduce the growing inequality of access to information technologies among refugee and immigrant groups, this grant allows us to distribute more computers to our refugee and immigrant clients,” said Sem Lafleur, Arrive Ministries Education Programs Manager.
This will help them develop and enhance their technology skills to compete in the technology-driven workforce.”
“We are thrilled to be able to support the work of Arrive Ministries through this grant,” explained Richfield Mayor Mary Supple. “Our community has a long history of welcoming immigrants, and we are proud to be home to this great organization and many of the households they serve.”
Learn more about our expanded technology empowerment program for eligible refugees and immigrants, and how to volunteer as a technology tutor.