Brookline provides seniors in need with tablets and internet access

BROOKLINE, MA – The city of Brookline has launched a pilot program to keep low-income seniors connected to the Internet during the pandemic.

The program will provide Brookline seniors and adults with disabilities who live alone with free tablets and Internet service for one year. Technical support is also available through the Tech Buddies program launched last year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to help low-income families access the internet and many communities have responded, but many low-income seniors have lost the ability to access the internet through public libraries and other inexpensive or free means, ”Emergency Management Director John Sullivan said in a statement. “This program aims to connect with seniors who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and who are, in many cases, the most isolated due to the pandemic. “

The program is funded by a $ 28,000 grant from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which was awarded to the Brookline Office of Emergency Management in April. To date, 47 people have been prequalified for the program and tablets have been delivered to 18 of them.

During the home delivery of the tablets, volunteers provide basic education and offer to come back if necessary so that participants gain the confidence they need to use their tablets, which are preloaded with links to websites and applications to allow participants to start. Each tablet also comes with a protective case and 12 months of free antivirus software from Lookout Antivirus.

“It is vitally important that older people can stay connected to their communities, loved ones and important health resources while staying safe in the midst of the pandemic, and we hope this program will facilitate that for seniors who have few other options, ”Sullivan said. “I encourage all Brookline residents who qualify and need this assistance to contact us immediately.”

To be eligible for the program, you must be a low-income Brookline resident aged 60 or older or a low-income adult of any age with a disability. Those who live on Brookline Housing Authority properties and those already participating in other public assistance programs are eligible, as are those earning $ 25,760 or less and couples earning $ 34,840.

For more information, contact Sarah Kaplan of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations at 617-730-2329 or [email protected]

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