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National Church Residences Helps Seniors Gain Access to Affordable Internet Though State Grant

Recent News | October 3, 2023

Digital Inclusion Week

One of 10 statewide enrollment events to be held during Digital Inclusion Week bridging the gap for older adults who lack access, skills and support to engage online.

COLUMBUS, OH – National Church Residences is hosting a series of enrollment events in residential communities for older adults across Ohio, to help them gain support and access to affordable internet. The effort is part of a state grant through BroadBand Ohio that helps non-profit organizations address barriers in digital access for low-income citizens, elderly populations, justice-involved individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and language barriers, as well as rural residents, racial and ethnic minorities.

As part of Digital Inclusion Week, October 2-6, National Church Residences is hosting one of 10 events at affordable housing communities throughout the Columbus metro area. The event includes one-on-one assistance with enrollment and internet service sign-up for participating residents.

“This program is a tremendous support in allowing us to bring in more digital navigation resources to our low-income seniors,” said Public Policy Manager, Corri Page of National Church Residences. “The internet plays a critical role in their daily life providing access to telehealth visits, grocery and prescription drug delivery services. It also benefits them with access to video chats with family and friends so they stay connected. Without that connectivity our seniors are cut off from access to many necessities that keep them healthy and safe.”

National Church Residences received $43,450 in grants to promote and support events that help educate seniors about the importance of internet connectivity and assists them with enrollment into the Affordable Connectivity Program. This program provides low-income seniors a $30 benefit toward internet service and $100 for purchasing a device.

The goal is to enroll 150 seniors in the program, helping to close the digital divide. Once approved for the benefit, seniors can have it applied to their existing account or sign up for new service if they don’t currently have access. These events also will be used to collect data and create best practices to develop an Affordable Connectivity Program  Enrollment Guide for Senior Affordable Housing that can be used across the National Church Residences network.

This week’s event will be held at Avondale Senior Village in Dublin on Wednesday, October 4 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Six additional events will be held at various affordable housing properties through mid-November.

**EDITORS NOTE – If you are interested in the story but unable to cover it during Digital Inclusion Week, there are six more events scheduled in Columbus between now and November 15, 2023.  Please contact Chris Herbert cherbert@pendulum-pr or 614-448-8703 for a full list of events.**

The policy and advocacy team at National Church Residences is also working to extend these benefits into the future, ensuring consistent, long-term access for their most vulnerable residents.

Page added, “The Affordable Connectivity Program is set to run out some time next year and as of now there is no plan to renew the funding. We’re working with other advocacy groups and lawmakers to extend these benefits and ensure older adults continue to stay connected to critical services, family and friends.”

National Church Residences is a member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, the Franklin County Digital Equity Coalition and Ohio Connectivity Champions.

About National Church Residences

Originating from a Christian commitment of service, National Church Residences provides an array of health care services and a variety of housing options to 46,000 seniors. The nonprofit organization is driven by a vision to scale for mission impact by advancing better living for 100,000 seniors by 2030, wherever they call home. With more than 360 communities across the United States, it is the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable senior housing and the largest manager of service coordinators.  The organization also offers a variety of additional senior living options, home and community-based services, as well as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled. For more information, visit us at NationalChurchResidences.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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National Church Residences does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, payment source, or any other class protected by applicable law, whether in employment or its activities, programs, or services. National Church Residences also does not discriminate based on age, except as required by government entitlements or permitted by applicable law for seniors.