BOSS Wins Digital Divide Grant

Friday July 11, 2003

One of Berkeley’s leading homeless services organizations won an $83,500 grant last week to help bridge the “digital divide” separating the computer savvy well-to-do from the technologically-challenged poor. 

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) will use the two-year grant, from the San Francisco-based Community Technology Foundation of California, to train its three-member community organizing team in on-line activism and teach basic computer skills to some of the 3,500 homeless people it serves every year. 

“We’re very excited to get [the grant] because we know that a lot of the information out there is happening on line and a lot of our clients don’t have access to it because they’re low-income,” said Sonja Fitz, grants and budget manager for BOSS. 

BOSS is one of nine Bay Area nonprofits and 31 groups statewide that received $1.9 million in funding this year from the Community Technology Foundation, a four year-old, independent foundation endowed by telecommunications giant SBC after its merger with Pacific Bell. The foundation “promotes social justice, access, and equity through community technology,” according to a release. 

-- David Scharfenberg