KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Greater Kingsport Family YMCA partnered with the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority (KHRA) to provide Google Chromebooks to families living in affordable housing communities, according to a press release Thursday.
This was made possible through grants from the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and its nationally recognized Two Generation approach.
KHRA will provide one Chromebook for each apartment at selected housing communities, and the YMCA will give additional Chromebooks to families in other housing community locations.
News Channel 11 spoke with KHRA Deputy Director Sam Edwards, who said in addition to the nearly 500 Chromebooks the agency will give away, it’s also expecting to provide WiFi coverage to help give families access.
“It’s vitally important for our residents to have access to technology, so it’s very important they can get online and they can do the things that they need,” Edwards said.
He said without Internet access, a device would be pointless.
“You can provide people a device, but if they don’t have a way to use it, then it’s virtually useless, so they kind of went hand-in-hand,” Edwards said.
The grant that will ensure this becomes a reality for those in affordable housing communities in Kingsport stemmed from United Way in Knoxville and was comprised of $350,000.
The KHRA plans to launch the distribution Monday if weather permits and will begin at one community and the next until all qualifying households are covered.