The Housing Authority of the City of Old Town (HACOT) has partnered with PC’s for Maine and Machias Savings Bank to establish a computer lab at its newly renovated Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Center on Anderson Lane in Old Town. The creation of a computer lab at their Anderson Lane affordable housing neighborhood aims to empower tenants participating in the Family Self Sufficiency program to increase their job marketability, find suitable stable employment, and improve literacy rates as well as increase access to services and supports resulting in higher household incomes and increased self-sufficiency.

HACOT works with social service agencies, schools, businesses and other local partners to help FSS participants access services including but not limited to child care, transportation, education, job training, financial literacy, career exploration and home ownership. At a time when technology provides critical access to employment opportunities, post-secondary education, financial literacy and social service resources, the personal computer becomes a valuable and necessary tool for those looking to empower themselves and move towards a sustainable, livable wage and increased financial independence. HACOT recognizes the role a personal computer plays in self-sufficiency and, with the help of a John T. Gorman Foundation grant, was able to provide a laptop for the new FSS Center at the time of the recent renovation. As the FSS program began to expand it became clear that additional computers would be needed. That’s when Family Support Specialist, Anita Farris, decided to complete an application with PC’s for Maine.

Since 2001 PC’s for Maine has been working to maximize the benefits of technology by increasing access to technology and literacy throughout the State and strengthening the impact nonprofits have by supporting them with quality low cost personal computers and technical support. PC’s for Maine offers nonprofits desktop computers that run on Windows 10 OS, has Microsoft Office 2010 Office Suite installed, and is locked down with Clean Slate software. The unit includes an i5 desktop processor, 19″ LCD Screen, keyboard, mouse, surge bar and support with a 1-year warranty at a cost of $250 a unit. That’s where Machias Savings Bank stepped in to help, funding the project through their Corporate Giving program.

Machias Savings Bank shares the belief that strengthening and supporting the organizations that contribute to the economic and social well-being is good for our communities. The Bank is committed to the support of non-profit organizations and activities that advance community development and improve the quality of life in our communities. With their charitable donation Machias Savings was able to help HACOT offer a greater capacity to access on-line learning and digital resources which greatly improves FSS participant’s ability to obtain information, ease communication barriers, gain skills, use online budgeting and resume tools, connection to jobs, benefits, services, and more. With the help of PC’s for Maine and Machias Savings Bank the Housing Authority of the City of Old Town can now serve more participants at a higher capacity thus improving the efficiency and impact of the Family Self Sufficiency program and allowing tenant’s to utilize safe, affordable housing as a platform for upward mobility.

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