YWCA AND COMCAST PARTNER TO HELP WOMEN AND FAMILIES OF COLOR ACCESS FREE WI-FI RESOURCES
Comcast and YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish today announced WiFi-connected Lift Zones at four Puget Sound area sites. Each site will have high-speed Internet service to help communities in need access online resources.
The Comcast Lift Zones will reach upwards of 140 families living in YWCA permanent housing, supportive housing, and emergency shelters. More than 1,000 community members who use YWCA’s computers will be able to access educational resources and advance their careers. The Lift Zones will also give kids a safe place for distance learning.
Lift Zones will enhance YWCA’s efforts to break down barriers in the most critical areas of people’s lives through Internet connectivity and technology access. The partnership will make housing, education, healthcare, financial literacy and employment services more accessible at the following YWCA sites across King County and Snohomish County:
- Greenbridge Learning Center – White Center
- The Willows – South Seattle
- Somerset Village Apartments – Lynnwood
- Passage Point – Maple Valley
“Comcast Lift Zones are an invaluable resource for the women and families YWCA serves,” said Maria Chavez-Wilcox, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has increased people’s reliance on technology to meet their basic needs, online connectivity has become an essential lifeline for work, distance learning, telemedicine, and other critical services. We’re grateful for the partnership of Comcast in helping narrow the digital divide for women and BIPOC communities in our region.”
The YWCA Lift Zone at Greenbridge Learning Center delivers a WiFi network that extends outside the building, bringing faster connectivity for community residents in the area and enabling participation in a wide variety of programs. Services are available in multiple languages by YWCA and community partners, and classes include computer literacy, vocational training, financial literacy, free tax filing, and more.
The YWCA Lift Zones at Somerset Village Apartments, Passage Point, and The Willows support women and families living in permanent housing, supportive housing, and emergency shelters. This new source of free Internet access will meet a critical need for parents and families.
“As a parent, I know how hard distance learning can be. A reliable Internet connection plays a huge part in that,” said Jason Aqui, Director of Information Technology, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. “Lift Zones are a game-changer. They help us ensure that everyone we serve is able to build a healthy life and reduce digital inequities faced by women and BIPOC communities.”
Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast has been building Lift Zones statewide since fall 2020 to help communities find safe spaces to get online, participate in distance learning and access important resources. The company plans to complete 80 Lift Zones in Washington by the end of 2021.
“The YWCA plays an important role in bringing equitable resources to women and BIPOC communities across our region,” said Rodrigo Lopez, Region Senior Vice President, Comcast Washington. “Through this partnership, we can extend the Lift Zone program to more families that need access to Internet connectivity.”
Comcast Lift Zones are an extension of the company’s Internet Essentials program, the largest and most comprehensive low-cost Internet adoption program for low-income Americans. Since 2011, it has connected 85,000 low-income households statewide, many for the first time. The program offers access to free digital literacy training resources, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150; and low-cost, high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax. Internet Essentials is structured as a partnership between Comcast and tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, elected officials, and nonprofit community partners nationwide. For more information, or to apply for the program in seven different languages, please visit www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376. Spanish-only speakers can also call 1-855-765-6995.
For more information about Comcast’s comprehensive connectivity program for low-income Americans visit https://corporate.comcast.com/values/internet-essentials
About YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish:
YWCA is the region’s oldest and largest organization focused on the needs of women, and provides services and advocacy to support stable homes and economic advancement, reduce violence and improve health, and promote racial equity and social justice. With programs that serve more than 10,000 people each year, YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. To learn more, please visit our website: ywcaworks.org.