WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GIVE SOMEONE FACING HOMELESSNESS A CELL PHONE OR LAPTOP?
YOU’RE HANDING THEM KEYS TO UNLOCK THE DOOR TO THE DIGITAL WORLD.
Internet access and digital literacy have become critical necessities in order to fully participate in every aspect of modern society. The digital divide refers to the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have digital devices and internet access, and those who do not².
“39% of Ontarians with the lowest incomes (compared to only 1% with the highest incomes) are unable to gain the knowledge and consumer benefits as well as the social and personal benefits typically associated with seamless internet access³.”
57% of our clients didn’t own a digital device before coming to Ve’ahavta.
Ve’ahavta’s essential life skills training programs had been successfully running in person for +10 years. These programs have helped hundreds of people facing poverty and instability to make a transformational change and take their lives in a new direction. At the beginning of 2020, due to COVID-19, these programs had to move online, but the digital divide proved to be a challenge for our clients.
+135 devices with internet access distributed for clients to keep.
THE IMPACT OF BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
100% of clients reported improved mental health
82% of clients reported an increase in finding health information or support services
79% of clients reported an increase in searching/ applying for jobs
THE IMPACT BEYOND THE PROGRAM
96% plan to take future courses online.
Now with devices, internet access, confidence and digital literacy skills, even after Ve’ahavta’s program ends, our clients will continue to improve their digital literacy skills, and therefore, their quality of life.
71% help friends or family access/use the internet
Positive impacts aren’t limited to program participants. Sharing knowledge and skills creates an immeasurably positive ripple effect.
¹All findings are from the independent study “Evaluation of Impacts of Digital Access and Literacy for BFW & VSA Participants” commissioned by Ve’ahavta.
³AlphaPlus: the Impacts of Ontario’s digital divide (2020)
* Ve’ahavta survey participant comment