Today, Comcast hosted an event announcing the opening of a new Lift Zone at The Jesus Center and one in The Torres Community Shelter in Chico, CA to provide free WiFi access to families across the area, with an additional Lift Zone location opening at The Jesus Center early next year.
As part of its larger digital equity initiative, Comcast also announced donations totaling $75,000. The Jesus Center received $50,000 to help their residents and those of the Pallet Shelter with digital literacy training and work readiness skills, and the Torres Community Shelter received $25,000 to provide digital literacy training to unhoused adults and seniors.
Additionally, Comcast donated over 350 care packages to give away to unhoused residents at the centers to prepare for the upcoming winter season.
“Helping to close the digital divide and address digital equity remain top priorities here in Chico,” said Mayor Andrew Coolidge, of Chico, CA. “Our city and our region have become more dependent on broadband to learn, find work and healthcare services and many other aspects of our daily life. Comcast’s new Lift Zones, along with their significant financial investments into our city, will create opportunity for individuals, families, and seniors in our community.”
“Comcast’s significant investments in our shelters and our communities will help us expand not only our digital literacy efforts but our workforce development initiatives and shows their commitment to providing the necessary tools and resources to those who will benefit most from these life-changing opportunities,” said Amber Abney-Bass, Executive Director of The Jesus Center. “Today’s announcement, and Comcast’s support, will allow us to ensure all of our community members have access to the services they need to thrive.”
Today’s announcement and donation are part of Project UP, Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to reach millions of people with the tools, resources, and skills needed to succeed in a digital world. Comcast’s Lift Zones program complements its Internet Essentials program which, since 2011, has helped connect more than 10 million low-income people to the Internet at home. In California, Comcast has connected more than 1.7 million residents, making it the number one state in terms of overall participation in the Internet Essentials program.
“We’re proud to partner with the City of Chico to launch these new Lift Zones and donate $75,000 to advance digital equity and workforce readiness in our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” said David Tashjian, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast California. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the continued commitment from Comcast in closing the digital divide and ensuring equitable digital learning opportunities are available to every individual who seeks it. Our continued partnership with the city and our community partners will equip individuals, families and seniors with the tools, skills and resources they need to achieve their goals.”