Submitted by Comcast
A recent study from the City of Spokane revealed there has been a 36 percent increase in homelessness in Spokane County. This year’s count marks the sixth consecutive year with an overall increase, presenting a growing issue in the area. Spokane County recently announced a regional effort to address the issue, and local organizations have continued efforts in the area.
Comcast and Family Promise of Spokane recently announced the next phase of their ongoing collaboration to help families in Spokane transition out of homelessness. As a part of the continued partnership, Comcast donated an additional 50 laptops and $20,000 to support life skills classes at Family Promise.
More than 1,000 Spokane residents have been aided by the partnership between Comcast and Family Promise since 2021. Comcast donated $20,000 and 50 laptops in 2022 and opened four Lift Zones with free WiFi at Family Promise locations in 2021. With the Lift Zones, monetary donations, and laptops from Comcast, Family Promise is helping local families transition out of homeless through access to technology, connectivity, and education.
Comcast’s Lift Zones provide free WiFi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students and families get online. Having a place to participate in distance learning, do homework, search for jobs, access healthcare information, and public assistance is valuable for those transitioning out of homelessness. Comcast has launched more than 100 Lift Zones in Washington state since November 2020.
“We’re committed to advancing digital equity in Spokane, and Family Promise is a critical partner in us succeeding in our mission,” said Mark Nelson, senior director of technical operations at Comcast Washington. “The technology, donations, and expertise we are able to supply combined with Family Promise’s services is a recipe we truly believe can make a significant difference.”
“As the world becomes increasingly digital, new training is needed to help families access education, job opportunities, mental health resources and housing applications,” said Chris Harbert, Assistant Director of Family Services, Family Promise of Spokane. “Partnering with Comcast has allowed us to offer guests that training as well as begin building a modern, online curriculum specifically for families both in our programs and the broader community. Our big focus is giving families the tools and skills to become self-sufficient, and our partnership with Comcast makes that happen.”
“Digital accessibility is not just a matter of convenience; it is a fundamental right that empowers individuals, fosters inclusivity, and drives innovation. It is the bridge that connects diverse abilities and opens doors to equal opportunities in the digital age,” said Joe Ader, executive director of Family Promise of Spokane.
Family Promise of Spokane works for a future where no child experiences homelessness in Spokane County. Their focus is not just on shelter for a night but on equipping families and our community to end the generational cycle of homelessness for the long term. Their holistic approach prevents families from becoming homeless, provides shelter and housing-focused case management for currently homeless families and then, once a family moves into housing of their own, they partner to prepare families for a stable future with two years of ongoing life skills classes and supportive services. For more information, visit Family Promise of Spokane’s website.