Of more than 3,500 housing authorities across the nation, SAHA was 1 of the first 28 communities in the nation to pilot ConnectHome in 2015. The program focuses on three components: access to digital devices, which includes computer labs at SAHA communities; connectivity through free Wi-Fi or hotspots; and digital literacy trainings.
ConnectHome focuses on bridging the digital divide among housing-assisted families. According to a survey conducted by ConnectHome of 600 residents, over 50 percent of SAHA families do not have internet access at home. Other factors preventing families from participating in the digital space are Internet cost, location and digital skills.
FOCUS AREAS: TRACKS
To enhance the life of residents in public housing, SAHA has 15 official ConnectHome sites, where the program provides computer literacy training, connectivity through Wi-Fi or hotspots and devices.
SAHA has three communities equipped with a computer lab and free Wi-Fi in common areas.
In 2017, Charles Andrews became SAHA's first family community site equipped with free access to Wi-Fi in 52 public housing units, where approximately 195 residents reside. SAHA transmitted bandwidth through microwave technologies to access points to distribute connectivity to devices in common areas. Westway Apartments, a family community serving 519 residents, is the next site on track to receive free Wi-Fi.
To date, the following communities are official ConnectHome sites:
- Springview Apartments
- Cassiano Homes
- Alazan-Apache Apartments
- Charles Andrews
- Lincoln Heights
- Mirasol Homes
Senior & Disabled Communities
- Villa Tranchese
- O.P. Schnabel
- W.C. White
- Fair Avenue
Digital Literacy Passport Program
In 2017, ConnectHome partnered with the San Antonio Public Library to launch the Digital Literacy Passport Program. The program allows participants to "Earn-A-Device" by attending digital literacy classes with either SAHA or a participating location.
Once the participant has attended at least seven digital literacy classes and had their passport validated by the instructor, they are eligible to receive a refurbished Windows device at no cost to them.
The program has been nationally recognized by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and is nominated for an Award of Excellence.