Bringing Information Technology Home is an interactive technology program using the Internet to build capacity for successful homeownership and financial strength among underserved low-income families, with particular emphasis on families that comprise Cleveland Housing Network's nationally-acclaimed Lease Purchase program. Bringing IT Home literally "brings home" the skills, equipment, and technology to interact with banking and money management, homeownership and maintenance, resident support, and community relations applications for low-income families who are working toward lasting financial stability.
Bringing IT Home is a capacity-building toolbox of hardware, software, training, data-access, and interactive web-based applications that will foster financial literacy for (initially 200) low-income families dedicated to achieving eventual homeownership. These families will receive hands-on, individualized computer and Internet training, carefully presented in a format that is both useful and appropriate to the user's skill level. After training, Bringing IT Home provides an in-home desktop PC (the project pays half and the families pay the other half), free Internet access, and unique in-home support services from Digital Connectors (high school students with extensive technology training).
Bringing IT Home is a suite of interactive tools, presented both in English and Spanish. These tools will include:
(1) online banking/money management with take-action capability to connect to mainstream financial services; (2) online financial literacy skill-building tools with personalized financial coaching; (3) the Cleveland Beehive with resources to improve users' standards of living; (4) interactive homeownership capacity-building courses and best practices; (5) online access and interaction with the City of Cleveland housing services ; and (6) the establishment of a digital community among participants, including the ability to connect through Cleveland Housing Network's web-based Instant Communicator software.
Partners include the City of Cleveland Department of Community Development, Cleveland Saves, Cleveland State University, KeyBank, National City Banks, and East Tech High School. National partners include One Economy and the Enterprise Foundation.