Heart & Hands

Internet Access for All at Bethany Hill Place

1

Education Equity Divide

When COVID-19 forced people to stay home last March, it increased the stakes of an already troubling digital access and educational equity divide. Bethany Hill Place residents are among the most underserved people in Framingham, including people of color impacted by poverty, racism, and unjust policies that have robbed them from achieving socioeconomic success. They need a systematic, sustainable solution to ensure they can fully participate in their educations not only during these challenging times but also in the future as inequities persist.


At Bethany Hill Place, as the pandemic spread, more than half of the 41 apartment units did not have consistent access to distance learning, including access to our own in-house afterschool, financial literacy, youth enrichment, and mental health programming that had transitioned online.

About Bethany Hill Place

  • Bethany Hill Place is a unique model of affordable housing providing educational opportunities to over 105 individuals & families in Framingham, MA

  • Founded in 1994 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Bethany Hill Place addresses a common problem in a very unique way. By providing affordable housing along with programming in a wide range of educational, health, and social services that meet diverse resident needs, Bethany Hill Place offers a holistic approach to confronting the issues surrounding homelessness.

  • A small staff and a large cadre of volunteers help residents achieve personal and educational goals, enhance their life skills, and encourage emotional and personal growth.

2

The True Impact & Quick Response

The families at Bethany Hill Place experienced food insecurity, mental health challenges, and job loss during the first few months of the pandemic, but they especially struggled with keeping their children connected to their schools. The team at Bethany Hill Place knew they needed to address this digital and educational divide and meet this social justice imperative of bringing connectivity to all residents. With funds from their capital reserves, the organization wired the building and installed a dedicated internet connection serving all 41 apartments with wireless access points on each of our four floors. The project was completed in late 2020, going live throughout the building within the first weeks of the 2020-2021 school year.


The project has been a game-changer for its residents. It provided a systemic, sustainable solution to address the inequities facing them, ensuring students of all ages now have consistent, free access to the Internet in their homes. With access now ensured, they saw students connecting with their educations, and adult residents become even more dedicated to their individual goal plans. They felt empowered by our confidence in their abilities and committed to not let this unique opportunity go to waste.

 

3

The Overall Cost & Your Support

The Internet Access for All project cost a total of $54,000 and was paid for from their capital reserves. Your support will help replenish their capital reserves – money set aside for other pressing capital needs at their aging building, including renovating unit kitchens and baths, replacing washers and dryers, repairs to the water heater, and so on.

 

Here's a sampling of costs associated with his project:

  • $13,000 to wire and equip an entire floor of apartments for free Internet access

  • $5,200 to wire and equip 4 of our 41 apartments for free Internet access

  • $3,000 to pay for 6 of 37 access points installed in the building

  • $1,080 to give one household the capacity to access free Internet

  • $1,500 to fund one year of Internet access services for the entire building

  • $500 to pay for one of 37 access points

  • $125 to fund one month of Internet access services for the entire building