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Envisioning an Internet Center For People Who are Homeless.

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Presentation on theme: "Envisioning an Internet Center For People Who are Homeless."— Presentation transcript:

1 Envisioning an Internet Center For People Who are Homeless

2 Presented by Rebecca Orrick Research Assistant, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at Open Access Connections

3 Why It matters  Connecting to Resources  Finding Employment and Housing  Becoming Civically Engaged  Building Community

4 Research Topics  Inventory of Current Centers  What People think of their Current Access  What to Keep in Mind about Design of Center

5 Methodology  Internet research/Follow up Calls with Agencies  Computer Center Visits  Open Ended Surveys  Broadcast message survey  Focus Groups  Interviews

6 Study Limitations  Status of internet centers are constantly changing  Random Sample not an option  Limited time, broad focus

7 Inventory 151 Community Technology Centers Minneapolis Pop 380, Centers St. Paul Pop 290,00 54 Centers

8 Type of Centers  Shelters, Transitional Housing Sites, Drop In Centers (33)  Parks and Recreation Centers (32)  Libraries (28)

9 Limitations of Current Access  Huge variety in hours, rules, restrictions of use, extent to which it is public or only for clients- HARD TO NAVIGATE!  Lack of Knowledge of other options besides libraries  Many are not close to current shelters (while many shelters are located in downtown areas/many CTCs are not)  Better access in Minneapolis, than St. Paul  Task Specific

10 One Solution

11 Perception of Access?

12 Typical Quote “I’m 45 years old, and I don’t know anything about computers. One of the problems that I have when I go to the job centers, is that when I try to put an application in, it’s hard for me to do because I don’t know anything about computers. I mean nothing, the only thing I know how to do is how to turn it on. If you have someone on site who could really help you, I mean, [help you] log on to what you really want to log on to, that would be good. I mean I think that’s why I don’t have a job, it’s because I’m a nursing assistant, and it’s hard for me to do an online application.”

13 Wide Range of Responses “Mostly my experiences have been EXCELLENT! Computers are SUPER FAST, but when the libraries are full, the experience is upsetting to wait for a computer.” “Library, yes, need way more than one hour to get anything done” “No computer skills!”

14 What Would you like to see in an Internet Center???

15 Desire for a Place with…  Help  More Hours Open/More Convenient Hours  Place to go outside 9-5 hours

16 Characteristics to Consider in Design  Walking distance from shelters  Safety/Security  Staff trained in conflict resolution and mental illness  Open during gaps in service

17 Conclusion Need for more places that cater specifically to needs of Homeless individuals -Times-Help -Remedial education -Close to shelters -Flexible activity

18 Recommendations  Get the Word Out  Work on Expanding Access in downtown areas and St. Paul

19 Additional Options  Mobile Computer lab  Expand Netbook Lending Library

20 The End Thank you for listening!


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