Like many Communities Covid 19 ravaged them and is still having irreparable impacts across every sector of our society. Getting back to normal is not as easy as many anticipated. For working Families the impacts of Covid 19 exposed the Digital Divide. Communities that were already dealing with the impact of Poverty, adding stay at home orders setback Many Children.
Our team at Gaia was there to respond with solutions for cities and counties directly impacted by these strange times. High Speed Reliable Internet was now needed, for work, school, shopping, appointments as well as checking on family. For children, in many urban and rural areas the access to broadband is limited and sometimes outside of the budget.
Prior to the pandemic we began working with stakeholders across the country, at our home city of St. Louis our Smart City Partners at The Saint Louis Housing Authority began re imagining shared resources for community and decided on “Wifi” for their residents through our collaboration with the Executive Director Alana Green and her team.
Covid 19 accelerated this process, and we deployed wireless internet at 9 sites for 1200+ residents. This was a critical mission need, but was not easy. Our team has documented the process and will release the content later in 2021. We officially launched network in October and recently completed work and as part of our agreement manage the service to insure cost and maintenance are kept reasonable. This project was solely funded through Cares Act Funding provided to The Saint Louis Housing Authority and Gaia Green Earth. The cost to residents is $0. This is a case study in Public Private Partnerships and also the impact of being agile in our evolving world.
Gaia Green Earth Wireless Division Led by Scott Butler has made a tremendous impact on lives of residents in The Saint Louis Housing Authority. Our goal is to make huge impact through a re-imagination of cities, people and the planet. The Digital Divide is a critical issue, for urban communities in Saint Louis we found that LMi families are spending 80% of their income on housing related costs leaving connectivity and wifi although the most critical but often the last need met over food and shelter.
Gaia Green Earth Green Ambassador Kareem Grimes surprises Children in residents with free wireless tablets to give residents sponsored by Gaia Green Earth.
Resident’s were excited to get online and surf the Gaia 5G Network.
Our work is just getting started closing the digital divide: If you are interested in learning more about our work Click here.