Free Geek Provides Computers During COVID19 Crisis

For the sake of profit, technology has became a status marketing game of having the "New New Thing". Free Geek, in contrast, is an outstanding example of making the most of what's available. It's located in Portland but their mission needs to be universal. This story also clearly illustrates the illusion of universal access to technology from both a hardware and online access standpoint.

A good portion of requests come from students who suddenly need to get online in order to participate in K-12 education or college. Many people are reaching out on behalf of aging parents who are no longer able to visit their doctors. Others are desperate for access to mental health or addiction treatment services. 

Free Geek is currently handling several hundred requests a week, but the nonprofit is struggling to keep up with the monumental spike in demand. 

“The real limitation for us is having the technology to give away or sell at a low price,” Shohoney said. Their biggest need is for laptops with webcams and built-in microphones and speakers. 

 #digitaldivide #digitalrights @FreeGeek #nonprofittechnology #digitalinclusion #internetaccess #socialgood #internet #technology

OPB: Portland's Free Geek Provides Low Cost Computers During Coronavirus Crisis