Comcast is helping families experiencing homelessness in Seattle and you can help, too!
This post was written in parternship with Comcast.
At this time of year, it’s always nice to hear when a company is doing something great for the local community. Comcast recently partnered with Mary’s Place in Seattle to give $250,000 to support technology resources, job readiness, and digital skills training for women and families at their emergency family shelters. Access to the internet, technology and computer training is critical for families experiencing homelessness to be able to transition into housing and employment.
Mary’s Place is a Seattle non-profit that believes no child should sleep outside. Their mission is to provide safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. On Monday December 3rd, at an event celebrating Comcast’s “Neighborhood Season of Giving” at their new Xfinity retail location at Northgate Mall, Marty Hartman the Executive Director of Mary’s Place talked about how important the partnership between Comcast and Mary’s Place is for their community and how Comcast has outfitted all of Mary’s Place shelters with computer labs.
Marty explained that having computers at the shelters help children who are there do their homework and how having computers at shelters also helps keep parents connected to their children’s school and community. She talked about a program from Comcast that helps families even after they transition out of the shelter: families are given access to a computer and internet for a year to help them stay connected while they continue to get back on their feet.
Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program
The $250,000 gift is a part of Comcast’s commitment to connecting communities to the Internet. Comcast has an Internet Essentials program that has helped nearly 260,000 low-income Washington residents. Marty Harman from Mary’s Place reiterated how much most people take this kind of connection for granted and how necessary it is for people to succeed. Nora, a Comcast employee and someone who has experienced homelessness also spoke at the event and explained how much these services are important: “It takes a village and thankfully Mary’s Place is that village that can help someone like me.”
Comcast has also donated 50 smartphones to local families in the area who are living in vehicles-having access to these smartphones means that these families are able to know if a spot opens up in a shelter or if they have a job interview.
How you can help families experiencing homelessness in Seattle?
Technology is a huge part of success but with the cold, wet, rainy season coming to Seattle, families also need warm clothes. “How many of you woke up to frost on your windows this morning?” Marty Hartman asked. With temperatures dipping below freezing this week in the Pacific Northwest, it is difficult to imagine how people experiencing homelessness are coping outside. From now until January 6th, 2019 the Seattle community is encouraged to bring warm clothing donations to the new Northgate Xfinity retail store and Comcast will deliver these donations to Mary’s place.
On December 3rd, Comcast also donated 50 bags of clothing which were loaded onto a Mary’s Place Delivery truck by David Frockt, a Washington state Senator who also spoke at the event, David Moseley, the Deputy Mayor, Nora, Marty Hartman,Amy Lynch, Comcast’s Washington Region Vice President, and other Comcast employees. Community members who want to get involved with Mary’s Place can find more information on how to volunteer, fundraise, or donate on their website.
The partnership between Mary’s Place and Comcast began when a Mary’s Place shelter opened up near a Comcast location and employees started brainstorming on how they could help their neighbors who were experiencing homelessness. This is truly an example of how neighbors can help each other out.