Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Digital Houston RFP is out 

The City of Houston has issued the RFP for a Wireless Broadband Network and Management Services. Technology For All was a participant in the process of writing and commenting on various sections of the RFP. Section B11 of the RFP addresses community technology services and requests respondents to the RFP to propose solutions to encourage digital inclusion across the City.

TFA encourages community technology practictioners to attend the Tuesday, April 4, 2006 Bidders Conference to support and encourage digital inclusion efforts with potential bidders on the RFP. The conference will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. downtown at 611 Walker in the Garden Level Auditorium.


Almost 2000 Computers 

This week Technology For All received a grant of 1900+ computers from a local corporation through the United Way Gifts in Kind program. The computers will be utilized first to assist and empower our Houston area Community Technology 2.0 sites (http://www.techforall.org/community_technology2.0.html ) where we are focused on building the capacity and effectiveness of CTCs serving Houston Hope (www.houstonhope.org ) neighborhoods. TFA staff and volunteers will be working together over the next few days to develop a plan to fully deploy the PCs into all the neighborhoods we care about. One of those neighborhoods is Pecan Park, the East End neighborhood that surrounds TFA's office. TFA-Wireless provides wireless Internet access in the neighborhood. Many of the computers will be re-deployed through "Learn and Earn" programs with HISD students in the neighborhood. When the plan is finalized we will report back here.

Houston Hurricane Recovery Portal announces Office 

The Joint Hurricane Housing Task Force office is now located on the Katy Freeway. The Disaster Recovery Center on the South Loop is now closed. The Task Force is comprised of City of Houston, Harris County, Housing Authority of the City of Houston, Harris County Housing Authority, Houston Apartment Association, Housing Authority of New Orleans, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and FEMA.

Friday, March 10, 2006

CTCs to Assist Seniors with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan 

Technology For All is seeking community technology centers willing to open their computer labs to assist seniors to enroll in the new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Interfaith Ministries is preparing a flyer to enclose in the City of Houston water bills announcing the locations that will be hosting these enrollment sessions. Interested CTCs should contact Pam Gardner at 713.454.6400, if they would like to have their organization included in this list. Contacts made after deadline may still be eligible to participate, however their organization will not be listed and the announcement of their session will have to be made by the organization. The enrollment sessions will be facilitated by Wendy Ramirez (Interfaith Ministries) and Barbara McGinty (BBB Education Div.) along with their volunteers and any volunteers that the CTC may have identified.

CTC Information and Volunteer Training Sessions-Please mark your calendars
Two information sessions and training for volunteers that will assist with facilitating the enrollment sessions are scheduled.

Monday, March 20 @ 1 p.m.
Mission Milby CDC
2220 Broadway
Houston, TX 77012

Tuesday, March 21 @ 9:30 a.m.
United Way Community Resource Center
50 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX 77007

For more information contact:
Pamela J. Gardner
Technology For All
2220 Broadway
Houston, Texas 77012
Tel: 713.454.6415 Fax: 713.454.6454
e-mail: pam.gardner@techforall.org
website: www.techforall.org

Louisiana Rebuilds 

Yesterday, the new "Louisiana Rebuilds" website was unveiled by Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco with displaced Lousiana citizens at The Joy Corporation in Zachry, Louisiana.
While there she demonstrated The Road Home website. The Road Home serves as an Internet and toll-free housing registry where homeowners who suffered damage from hurricanes Katrina and Rita can input key information about their homes and register for the state's housing recovery program by simply logging on to http://www.LouisianaRebuilds.info or calling 888-ROAD 2 LA (888-762-3252) 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

In addition, Louisiana Rebuilds is a resource for Houston area CTCs to introduce to their constituents who may be Louisiana citizens. Houston's own NAACP Family Technology Center helped to beta test the site prior to its going live.

Monday, March 06, 2006

TFA receives Leadership in Action Award 

Recently, Technology For All was the recipient with ATT (SBC) of a Leadership in Action award presented by Leadership Houston (www.leadershiphouston.org ) at a luncheon at the Junior League for our collaborative work in creating the Astrodome Community Technology Center. We were recognized along with several other organizations and Judge Eckels and Mayor White for our work with the evacuees from New Orleans. I am grateful each person and organization that assisted in this important effort and the success we created by working together. Without the help of so many including SBC, CompuCycle, SimHouston, Plains All-American Pipeline, Decision Information Resources, AMD, IBM, Yahoo!, Reliant Energy and many more this would not have been possible.

I thank each of you who are a part of the TFA team as a donor, friend, board member and staff member! Without your commitment to our common vision to empower communities and make the world a better place, the important work that we do together could not be achieved. May this award be the inspiration for us to dream greater dreams and work together on more important visions to lead Houston to become a better and stronger city for all.

I want to especially thank our TFA colleague, staff member and my friend Jim Forrest for his tireless work of 18-20 hours a day for 19 consecutive days in early September. Without Jim’s commitment and heart, the award today would not have been possible. Thanks Jim and thanks to each of you who participated in our work together at “Reliant City” and the Astrodome Community Technology Center.

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