Digital Inclusion Toolkit will help connect the 30% of area residents without home access to low/no cost resources to meet the demands of social distancing
South Bend, IN. (May 7, 2020) – enFocus, a nonprofit that attracts talent to regional organizations to catalyze change, has partnered with the City of South Bend to create a centralized Digital Inclusion Toolkit for South Bend area residents. Approximately one-third of households in the South Bend area lack home internet access and many others are without the technology necessary to support social distancing. The recently launched centralized Digital Inclusion Toolkit intends to connect residents to low/no cost park-and-access locations for device and internet access, as well as to digital training resources.
The leading resource in the Digital Inclusion Toolkit is a WiFi Map that identifies outdoor locations with no cost access. Such locations include the St. Joseph Public Libraries, City of South Bend sites, South Bend Community School Corporation WiFi buses, college campuses like Indiana University South Bend, among other locations. In addition to the WiFi Map, the centralized toolkit also directs residents to low
cost internet service provider offers available in our area and a wide range of digital literacy training programs.
City of South Bend Chief Innovation Officer, Denise Riedl explained, “with their established relationships with many local institutions and community partners, enFocus was well-positioned to coordinate this initiative. We are excited to join them in helping connect those in need to the resources available.”
The centralized Digital Inclusion Toolkit can be found digitally at southbendin.gov/digital-toolkit. Additionally, local organizations are welcome and encouraged to embed the WiFi Map in their digital communications and websites with the embed link: bit.ly/SouthBendWiFi. A paper version of the Digital Inclusion Toolkit will also be distributed to City of South Bend residents via mail through regular city communications including resident utility bills.
Andrew Wiand, enFocus Executive Director, concluded “as we work together to curb this pandemic through social distancing, digital access for all residents is essential. We are pleased to assemble a comprehensive resource of digital tools to support community members in learning and working remotely, as well as staying connected to family and friends. This is one of many ways enFocus is working to make our community stronger in the wake of COVID-19.”
About enFocus, Inc.
enFocus is a nonprofit organization that empowers talent to transform communities. We recruit recent graduates into a two-year Fellowship program and develop them into the next generation of community and business leaders. enFocus Fellows work alongside experienced mentors in the corporate, nonprofit, education and public sectors to discover, design, and implement innovative solutions to benefit the
community. We partner with local organizations to provide value on sponsor projects, and we give Fellows the tools to launch entrepreneurial businesses or social ventures.
To-date, enFocus has engaged over 800 young professionals to work on over 150 projects across Northern Indiana sponsor organizations. Nearly 70% of these individuals have stayed and call Indiana their home. Our Fellows have incubated more than 20 new businesses and created more than $85 million in economic impact through innovation projects.
Together, we are solving complex problems, growing businesses, and changing the way communities innovate. For more information, visit http://en-focus.org.