Computer Equipment Request Form to find out if you are eligible to participate in the county's Westchester Access program.
Through the Westchester Access program, computers that are too outdated for government needs have found their way into a variety of non-profit agencies throughout the county, including day care, community centers, churches and agencies that offer affordable housing, social services and support. The computers have been reconfigured and are capable of accessing the Internet and running basic educational software.
Hundreds of groups have applied for the computers since a law was passed in 2001 allowing the county administration to give computers, printers and other electronic components to non-profit groups. Westchester Access is one of a number of initiatives to form public/private partnerships to help level the playing field for children and adults who do not have access to computers and the Internet.
Success stories include:
- Community Housing Innovations of White Plains, which received one of the largest allotments, has been giving its share away to low-income parents who graduate from a 10-week, state-funded computer program. The computers are used as an incentive to ensure a high completion rate – currently 93 percent.
- The Tarrytown YMCA was able to start a new computer center that is used in an after-school childcare program and for beginning computer lessons for pre-schoolers through adults.
- The Dimensions Peer Support Center in New Rochelle now has a new resource center in the self help library equipped with computers donated by the county. Dozens of mentally ill clients are taking weekly classes, doing on-line research, writing papers or resumes, or learning word processing.
- The New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority gives theirs to residents on public assistance who enroll in a job training program and complete a three-week computer training course.