Comcast to provide tech, training to San Jose tiny homes residents
File photo by Katie Lauer.

Days after residents moved into San Jose’s first tiny homes community, Comcast announced it will provide the formerly homeless residents with a first-of-its-kind technology program that includes internet access and digital literacy training.

The California-based Comcast team got involved in the city’s tiny homes project, which opened two weeks ago on Mabury Road, after a meeting with Mayor Sam Liccardo. Comcast will offer internet access and equipment at the project’s community center.

The services will provide high-speed internet, access to wifi and digital literacy training to roughly 40 formerly homeless people. The digital literacy training will help the residents work on their resumes and look for employment.

Comcast is working with ConXion, a community-based nonprofit that provides professional training for disadvantaged communities.

“ConXion has been our partner for over 10 years,” said Adriana Arvizo, manager of external communications for Comcast California. “We thought about ConXion first thing because of their proven record of digital training and job placement.”

ConXion got involved in helping the homeless community in San Jose after moving to a location in front of a homeless camp. Soon after, officials said, the group’s program services expanded to provide digital literacy and Microsoft workshops.

The ConXion team will work with the tiny home residents about 20 hours a week at each site to do digital literacy training with the residents. ConXion will use its mobile lab which includes 20 laptops that the residents can use to do tasks such as building strong resumes.

“Learning digital literacy will upgrade the residents’ lives,” said Lori Ramos Chavez, ConXion chief operations officer. “This training will help them locate better jobs and show them how to work with new technologies.”

Most jobs in San Jose require basic digital literacy skills, and ConXion will help the formerly homeless residents learn these skills to build their resumes. Ramos Chavez said that ConXion will tailor the training and curriculum to the residents based on their needs following an assessment.

“We hope each individual shores up a skill that they need to have a strong resume,” said Elaine Barden, Comcast California vice president of business development and strategic initiatives. “With this training, they could even pick up specific skills that are needed in the workplace.”

The tiny homes project at Mabury Road is the first to be established in San Jose and Comcast officials hope it’ll set a precedent for other cities.

“While the 40 homes at each site might not seem like a big number to start,” Barden said, “providing the model where people can gather and increase their skill set could serve as an effective solution for many cities.”

The Bridge Housing project will provide 40 transitional tiny homes for the homeless community in two areas of San Jose, Mabury Road and Felipe Street. Comcast will deliver its services at both locations.

Contact Fernanda De Velasco at [email protected] or follow @f_develasco on Twitter.

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