Tri-City Union Gospel Mission

Radiant Light Broadcasting (RLB) in the Tri-Cities is addressing homelessness by providing internet access, technology, and digital literacy. RLB is setting up computer labs in shelters and running a Digital Navigator program, where trained volunteers help with digital challenges. This approach enhances access to crucial online services and employment opportunities, effectively bridging the digital divide. RLB’s strategy is founded on faith and community collaboration and aims to deliver sustainable solutions in an effort to achieve functional zero homelessness, encouraging community engagement through donations and volunteer efforts.

Tri-City Union Gospel Mission

The objective of the TCUGM is rescue, recovery, and restoration. In 2022, the Mission provided food, clothing, household necessities, and lodging to needy individuals and families. Over the year, the Mission served meals and provided services to more than 5,500 individuals, including offering transient and transitional housing to over 500 people.

The Mission is a member of the Citygate Network, which aims to move people from destitution or desperation to a state of human flourishing through gospel-powered life transformation. This process includes: Saved: making choices that will keep them from chronic illness and physical death; Sober: no longer controlled by stimulants or depressants; Stable: mentally and emotionally balanced and enjoying good health; Schooled: enriched with the fundamental knowledge to be competent and competitive; Skilled: being academically credentialed and set on a career path; Secure: able to provide financially for themselves and their loved ones; Settled: benefitting from having the same safe place of their own to stay every night; Serving: giving back to the community through missional living.

Current Problem – Homelessness and the Digital Divide

In the Tri-Cities area, there is a significant digital divide that disproportionately affects the homeless and low-income populations served by the TCUGM. These individuals often lack access to critical digital resources, such as high-speed internet, digital devices, and the skills necessary to use these technologies effectively. This gap prevents them from accessing essential services, educational opportunities, job applications, and social support networks, perpetuating their conditions of poverty and isolation.

Proposed Solution – Digital Inclusion

To combat this digital divide, the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission plans to launch a digital inclusion program specifically designed for the needs of the homeless and low-income individuals. The program will include:

  • Providing reliable, high-speed internet access within the Mission’s facilities.
  • Distributing modern digital devices to those in need.
  • Offering comprehensive digital literacy training, customized for the unique challenges faced by their clients.
  • Integrating support services, such as one-on-one technical assistance and continuous educational workshops, to ensure effective use of digital tools for personal growth, job searching, and accessing vital services.
  • Collaborating with local businesses, technology firms, and educational institutions to pool resources and expertise, thereby maximizing the program’s reach and effectiveness.

Fundraising Goal: $25,000

  • WAN & LAN Networking: $3,500
    • (1) Unifi UDM-Pro (router) – $400
    • (1) Unifi USW-Enterprise-48-PoE (switch) – $1,600
    • (5) Unifi U6-Lite (access points) – $500
    • (1) 12U Rack with Patch Panels – $1,000
  • Computer Lab (servers, computers, peripherals, software, printers): $19,000
    • (2) Dell PowerEdge R250 Rack Servers with Windows Server 2022 – $3,000
    • (10) Dell Laptops with Windows 11 Pro – $10,000
    • (5) Apple iPads and Apple Pens – $2,900
    • (1) HP All-in-One Laser Printer – $1,500
    • (2) Unifi PoE Security Cameras – $500
    • (10) Microsoft Office Suite – $500
    • (1) Computer Charging Cart – $500
    • (1) Multi Port USB Charging Station – $100
  • Computer Lab Furnishings: $2,500

This budget will support the setup and operational costs of the digital inclusion program, ensuring that participants have the resources and environment conducive to learning and development.