We are pleased to announce that Connecting for Good has entered into a partnership with the Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority to bring free Wi-Fi to their largest low income housing project – Juniper Gardens. The project will bring a free broadband Internet connection into all 390 units where nearly 1,000 people live. The large mesh network we are building will require installing more than 70 Wi-Fi radio transmitters on nearly forty buildings (see below). We will also be developing a computer learning lab in the community center at the complex. Similar to our Rosedale Ridge project, we will be providing digital life skills training and inexpensive refurbished PC systems to residents at Juniper Gardens.
There are a number of wonderful nonprofit organizations working at the complex. We are excited about the many ways that providing Internet access, computers, and digital literacy training will enhance their efforts to assist residents. Among the them are YouthBuild, New Roots for Refugees, a program with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, and CultivateKC, which supports an eight-acre urban farming training project for residents and people in the surrounding neighborhood. We have heard that among the many recent refugees who live in the complex, at least fifteen different languages are spoken.
The Northeast neighborhood where Juniper Gardens is located is the largest concentration of poverty in the entire KC Metro area. This project will give us a foothold that will allow us to expand the network to reach other families in Northeast Wyandotte County. To that end, we are creating a designated fund to support an urban broadband initiative. We will be working with local residents and neighborhood associations to find creative ways to extend Internet connectivity throughout the entire area.
We have already secured a One Economy Corporation in-kind donation of Wi-Fi radio equipment – valued at $15,000 – that will bring broadband Internet to every apartment at Juniper Gardens. The grant will also pay for bandwidth to power the network for the first year. And, the Housing Authority will be picking up that expense after the first year.
Yellow pins represent Wi-Fi transmitters that will be installed.
Photo of resident in community gardens courtesy of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.
Click here if you would like to make a donation to this project and help us meet the deadline.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about this project. Thanks for your continuing interest and support!
1624 Westport Road, Kansas City MO 64111 (816) 217-9637