UAC Successfully Completes KEYSPOT Project

February 19, 2014

The Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) successfully completed its $11.8M federal stimulus grant to bring computer and internet access to low-income Philadelphians. The grant provided over 25,000 Philadelphians with over 230,000 hours of computer training; over 6,000 families became new subscribers to internet at home; and over 5M awareness impressions were generated about the importance of internet access. UAC collaborated with over 50 organizations to form the Freedom Rings Partnership, which later branded this initiative with the name KEYSPOT.
With research indicating that as many of 41%-55% of Philadelphians do not have internet at home, the Freedom Rings Partnership was formed in 2010 to help some of Philadelphia's most vulnerable residents get access to the internet and training on how to use computers. KEYSPOTS took a community-based approach of establishing computer labs and training programs in existing social service organizations who were best equipped to meet the needs of individuals and families requiring assistance. "When we say our approach is collaborative, that's not just talk," emphasized Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President/CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, "KEYSPOTS is a true gathering of equals, all working together to make progress on an issue we care deeply about."
According to Mayor Nutter, "KEYSPOTS has realized that, in the 21st century, digital access is more than a privilege. It's a lifeline." Kahdijah Freeman, a client of the KEYSPOT program, agrees, "KEYSPOTS allowed me to learn more, expand my business, do my job better, support my family better. That's the power of a computer."
UAC's grant was one of two grants awarded in Philadelphia by the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The other grant was awarded to the City of Philadelphia's Office of Innovation and Technology.
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