Internet access among services approved for Seattle homeless camps


  • TECH
  • Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014

AWESOME: The downtrodden at Seattle's homeless encampments could soon get Internet access on top of other amenities such as portable toilets, electricity, and running water.

SEATTLE: The Seattle City Council has voted to approve a new city budget that includes money that could be used to provide Internet access at some of the city's dozens of homeless encampments. 

A US$100,000 (RM335,025) funding item on the 2015 budget was dedicated to improving conditions at homeless camps, and included such things as portable toilets, electricity, running water, garbage collection, cooking facilities and Internet access.

There was no decision on precisely how much money could go toward Internet installation or whether it would be available via traditional computer terminals or wireless. 

Seattle's socialist City Council member, Kshama Sawant, said Internet access would allow homeless individuals to look for jobs, communicate and keep up with news and current events. 

"We are no longer looking at Internet as a luxury. We have to make sure we provide humane services for everybody," she said last week after the item was added to the budget. 

There are dozens of homeless tent cities, both small and large, around Seattle. A firm count of the encampments is hard difficult because they often move, splinter or shut down, a city official said. 

The idea of Internet at homeless camps has been met with scepticism by some Seattle residents, who feel the money would be better spent on other initiatives. 

"That's too much opportunity for abuse," resident Cindy Phillips told local television station KING 5. "There are public libraries, and other public resources such as WorkSource, that can better assist the homeless in finding the jobs, or other resources they need," she said. 

At a roving encampment known as Tent City 3, resident Aaron Ervin told the technology news site GeekWire that life would improve with Internet access. 

"Everything is all about the computer," he said. "Whether it's sending out a resume or getting in touch with family members, it would open so many doors," he said. 

It was unclear how many homeless encampments might get Internet access. A city official said with the winter season approaching, other more pressing needs at the encampments were likely to be addressed before residents are able to surf the Web. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Tech News

Electric cars have significantly higher repair costs, research shows
What to know: As robocalls get blocked, text messages could be next big thing for scammers
Those just-for-fun Facebook quizzes? Identity thieves might like them, too
Opinion: Media literacy the antidote to this infodemic
Google CEO sought to keep Incognito mode issues out of spotlight, lawsuit alleges
Brazil telecoms regulator says 5G auction rules to be published by Monday
Intel breaks ground on $20 billion Arizona plants as U.S. chip factory race heats up
Nexi exec says group interested in digital euro, no formal talks with ECB
Brazil sets 5G mobile auction for Nov 4, says minister
Vice President Harris announces $1.2 billion investments to help school children afford broadband

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers