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Media Contact: Michael L. Washowich, Executive Director 724-832-7248
Greensburg, PA, August 21, 2017 – Westmoreland County Housing Authority (WCHA) has been selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of ConnectHome Nation, the innovative program to end the digital divide in public housing across the United States.
WCHA is one of 30 communities that were selected after an open application process and review by EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit that creates social and economic opportunity by connecting everyone to the internet. Since 2012, EveryoneOn has connected more than 500,000 people in the United States, with the goal of connecting one million people by 2020.
“We are extremely excited to join the ConnectHome Nation Initiative. We are committed to expanding computer literacy and online access for our families and elderly here in Westmoreland County,” said WCHA Executive Director Michael L. Washowich.
The other communities include:
• Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA)• City of Phoenix Housing Department• ConnectHome Nation – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Alliance• Edinburg Housing Authority• Elm City Communities dba New Haven Housing Authority• Greensboro Housing Authority• Herkimer Housing Authority• Home Forward (f.k.a. Housing Authority of Portland)• Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh (HACP); Allegheny County Housing• Authority (ACHAP); City of Pittsburgh• Housing Authority County of San Joaquin (HACSJ)• Housing Authority of Salt Lake City• Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville• Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro• Housing Authority of the City of Wilson• Louisville Metro Housing Authority• Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina• MOWA Choctaw Housing Authority• North Little Rock Housing Authority• Northern Ponca Housing Authority• Pasco County Housing Authority• Red Cliff Tribe• Renton Housing Authority• Rhode Island Office of Innovation & Rhode Island Housing• Sanford Housing Authority• Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority• St. Louis County and City• The Housing Authority of the City of Prichard• Tuskegee Housing Authority• Winnebago County Housing Authority
“ConnectHome and now ConnectHome Nation is the first of its kind, public-private partnership that is committed to ending the digital divide in public housing across the United States,” said Chike Aguh, chief executive officer of EveryoneOn. “We are so excited to welcome this new cohort of communities who are committed to changing the life trajectory of some of the most in need in our country. These communities’ commitment to ConnectHome Nation shows that when you collaborate across public and private sectors, you can solve any problem.”
In May 2017, EveryoneOn announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot initiative, which launched in 2015 in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was created to bridge the digital divide in 28 pilot communities. Rebranded ConnectHome Nation, the goal of the initiative is to expand to 100 communities and connect 350,000 people living in the HUD-assisted housing by 2020.
As part of this expansion, new communities will have access to the following:
• Access to stakeholder commitments;• Continued assistance with stakeholder negotiation by EveryoneOn as communities seek to add new partners to the initiative;• Monthly webinars with EveryoneOn for help with local efforts and best practices;• Access to a mentorship community to help guide progress; and• Access to the Digital ConnectHome Platform, which will include resources and collateral created for ConnectHome and would serve as a space for communities to connect, ask questions and collect data.
Over the course of the initiative, ConnectHome Nation expects to welcome more than 100 communities into its ranks, including the 30 communities announced today. These communities will be diverse in both size and geography.
In addition, the current ConnectHome pilot communities will have the opportunity to serve as models and mentors for communities participating in ConnectHome Nation. All communities, both pilot and new, will be involved in a community of practice, which will include mentorship meetings and a yearly ConnectHome Nation summit.
ConnectHome Nation will create a governing board composed of leaders from both the public and private sectors who are committed to the ConnectHome Initiative and its mission.
To learn more, visit www.connecthomenation.org.