DETROIT. (FOX 2) - A room full of formerly homeless veterans were on their feet and overjoyed after receiving a gift of technology.
Comcast Internet Essentials gave the veterans of Piquette Square 150 new laptops, with hopes of bridging the digital divide.
“Awesome. I can’t believe it. It’s unbelievable,” Bill Carroll.
Carroll came to Piquette Square several years ago, after serving in the Navy. His life hit a rough patch, then he found housing at the square, and decided to go back to school. He now has his MBA.
“It’s going to be great having a new laptop in the house, so I can get online and do my school work,” Carroll said.
Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program makes the Internet accessible and affordable for low income children and adults throughout the country. They have been expanding their program and on Wednesday they brought their good news to Detroit.
“This is going to help me so much,” Navy Veteran Stacey Hammonds said. “I’m going to go to school, take some classes and teach my kids.”
“Finish my degree and I actually have a T-shirt business and surf. I’m thankful and grateful,” said Marine Veteran Theodore Watkins.
Comcast also announced a $25,000 grant to upgrade their computer lab.
Another surprise also happened when the veterans, who are also hockey fans, met Olympic Gold Medalists and twin sisters Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux, who are ambassadors for the Comcast Internet Essentials campaign.
“When you look at veterans, people that have sacrificed so much to provide so much for our country, you can’t possibly just say you don’t have Internet, so you can’t apply for a job,” Monique said.
Comcast said one third of veterans don’t have Internet access at home, meaning limited access to family and friends, benefits information and job opportunities. But the laptops are likely to change all of that. It’s not just veterans, Comcast announced plans to expand its program, which has already helped bridge the digital divide for so many.
“We have been able to connect more than 8 million low income Americans in Comcast footprint since we launched the program in 2011,” said Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David Cohen