Laptops for a Safer Community

$30,000 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation allows Edmonton John Howard Society to purchase 30 laptops for its clients to continue online programming

Being safe is at the top of everyone’s mind lately, but Edmonton John Howard Society is making sure everyone’s staying safe in more ways than one.

Creating a safe community is of utmost importance for Edmonton John Howard Society, which  takes in individuals and youth involved in crime and gives them educational community resources to complete while serving their time in John Howard residences.

Many of the services offered by the John Howard Society were in-person until the pandemic hit. While some essential programming was able to continue in-person, some programs were reconfigured for digital delivery.

Most of John Howard Society’s clients are unemployed or have no income, so they can’t afford the technology required to access online services.  For safety purposes, they also must be monitored while using any technology.

“What we’re recognizing is that we’re having more and more clients showing up at our door, looking for help and support,” says Clare Gallant, Vice-President of Community Services at Edmonton John Howard Society. “They can’t go to all the places that they normally would go, so having access to computers that we are able to loan them or give them the opportunity to use is providing greater access for them that they normally wouldn’t have.”

Thanks to a $30,000 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation, Edmonton John Howard society purchased 30 laptops for clients to use.

Having access to laptops and the internet will allow Edmonton John Howard Society’s clients to access the Building Foundations for Employment Program (BFE) that John Howard Society offers. The program’s goal is to have participants gain the knowledge and skills to increase their likelihood of securing and maintaining meaningful employment.

“ECF was one of the first to start offering support, and it was really great to have that quick response and to be able to utilize it in a creative way that has been to be able to support our programming,” says Gallant.

By purchasing the laptops, Edmonton John Howard Society can continue supporting and encouraging clients to become contributing members of society.

“Our program, with the help of the computers, is able to provide access,” says Gallant. “When they’re feeling contained and restricted, they have that ability to open up their world a bit more, which has been quite significant for them.”