Homeless people frustrated by limited Internet access


From Minnesota Public Radio:

For many people, the Internet offers ways to stay connected with friends, catch the latest news or play a game of Scrabble with someone half a world away — but many people who are homeless have a more limited view of the online world.

Advocates for the poor say that is because many free computer labs restrict Internet access to specific tasks, like filling out job applications or searching for affordable housing. Libraries often limit the amount of time each user can spend online, and most coffee shops have replaced computer stations with wireless Internet, accessible only through personal laptops or cell phones.

Social service providers worry that by linking Internet access to high-stress situations, homeless people are developing an increasingly negative view of the online world.

“People keep saying that they’re being forced to interact with technology under duress,” said Mike Menner, director of Alliance of the Streets, a Minneapolis-based group that provides assistance to low-income residents. “Those are moments when people don’t tend to learn very well.”

Read the full article at Minnesota Public Radio