i just visited the Next Step shelters tonight to help serve dinner to its residents.
i've volunteered at other shelters in the past. this one was different. this one seemed different. this shelter provided the sense of hope. at least thats what i felt. i was told that nearly half of the residents have jobs. thats both very impressive and also very sad. sad in that even our minimum wage workers are struggling so much. i don't know every resident's story, but believe me that most residents look like the average worker in hawaii.
anyway, one thing that we did talk about was the need for more technology. more computers, more structured learning about tech. tech is needed for jobs, training, and education. yet, access to computers at Next Step is limited. There is often lines to access the 4 computers they have up and running.
it should be easy for any tech company in hawaii to swoop in and set up a few machines for the residents access. its pretty obvious to me that bringing tech to this situation is very straight forward and easy for tech companies. i just wonder why its taken this long for it to come to our attention.
come on hawaii tech people lets do something about that. here is what i'm thinking - lets use the vast amount of old computers out there as thin clients connecting to a state of the art server that has some sort of virtualized desktops. hawaiian telcom can swoop in and bring us some kick ass business internet connection. hmm.. then there is education; i haven't figured out that one yet.
anyway, this is pretty good example of socially conscious programming.
don't get me started on the other idea of having a internet bus cafe. thats really cool and seems very useful.