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Ingredients for "Rock Soup"
Want to make Rock Soup? Mix housing residents, property managers, businesses and agencies together. Have each one add a necessary ingredient to make a successful computer center.
Making Rock Soup was the topic of a training session held recently at the Hartford Field Office. HUD's Neighborhood Networks Computer Center contractor trained participants in creating business plans, obtaining funding and maintaining a successful center. Networking and community outreach were highlighted since, in most instances, no one entity has all the resources necessary to create a center.
Participants were very diverse. A housing staff person wanted to better organize training efforts to assist disabled clients leverage computer skills to make an income, with an eye towards economic self-sufficiency. Five members of a cooperative housing complex showed up, each intent on creating a center in their community. A rural housing project employee wanted to create a center despite a lack of local resources. Management agents from senior housing complexes, an activist resident of a property with an assisted living program, and housing authority staff came to learn more about neighborhood network centers.
HUD's fill-in-the-blank Business Plan program, START, was discussed. START lets participants enter information online. The information can be used to match potential partners with appropriate centers. HUD supports the creation of computer center consortia groups, to connect those who want to help computer centers with people who operate them.
The creation of computer centers helps housing residents gain job skills and bridge the "Digital Divide". Persons in Connecticut interested in creating computer centers should call HUD's Michael Patterson at (860) 240-4800, ext. 3041, or Suzanne Baran at ext. 3002. For additional information, visit www.neighborhoodnetworks.org.
Content Archived: March 21, 2011