Juniper Gardens Update
We are happy to announce that the fund raising campaign to build the free Wi-Fi network at the Juniper Gardens low income housing project has ended successfully!
Thanks to all who gave through our crowdfunding efforts on Neighbor.ly. In addition to these funds, Ubiquiti Networks donated the 40 high gain antennas we needed to complete the nearly $40,000 project.
At present, we are fine tuning the network making sure that the signal is strong throughout the complex. The “hotspot” we’ve created covers four city blocks and reaches into over 300 apartments!
In the meantime, we are getting volunteer trainers equipped to bring digital life skills classes to the residents at Juniper Gardens. We are also getting refurbished laptops ready so that every family will be able to connect to the network. Those who complete two digital life skills sessions will be able to purchase of these computers for just $50.00.
Community Outreach Update
In March, our mobile computer lab received a boost with a donation of twenty Chromebook laptop computers from Google Fiber. And it has been used a lot since then.
Dan Harmon is leading digital life skills sessions at branches of the Kansas City Missouri Public Library system (see article). We are coordinating these classes to coincide with the installation of Google Fiber in the various “fiberhoods” throughout the city. Besides basic Internet skills like web searches and using e-mail, we are also showing participants how to sign up for the Google Fiber service. We want as many local residents as possible to take advantage of their $300 for seven years of Internet plan.
In addition to the library sessions, the mobile computer lab will be used for training sessions as juniper Gardens once the network there is completely operational. And, the lab is also travelling to other sites as we are being hosted by local nonprofit organizations such as the Green Impact Zone’s Essential Employability program and the Job Club sponsored by Crosslines Community Outreach. Other agencies that assist job seekers are referring their clients to us. So similar courses are being conducted using the computer lab at our Westport center. In all of these sessions, we are offering the refurbished computers for $50.00 to people who qualify as low income.
Special thanks to Pauline Eatmon Johnson of ScholarSmarts and Dr. Barbara Lach of UMKC for working with us to develop and conduct these training sessions. We are in need of additional volunteers as this outreach grows. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us.
Another growing outreach has been assisting local nonprofit organizations with their technology needs. Currently, we’re helping the Palestine Neighborhood Development Corporation, 3449 Indiana, KCMO to develop a community computer center. And we have supplied low cost computers to the True Light Family Resource Center and Hero’s Home shelter for homeless veterans. Other projects with other community groups are currently in the planning phase.
Thanks to all who have donated used computer equipment! We continue to need good used PCs, especially laptops. If you have equipment to donate, please use our donation form.
We have successfully installed 70 Wi-Fi radios on almost 40 buildings at Juniper Gardens, a 390 unit low income housing project in Kansas City, Kansas. Located at 3rd and Quindaro, Juniper Gardens is a place where the average household income is half the average of the rest of the state and where the crime rate is four times the national average.
We are working to bring free broadband Wi-Fi to every family at the complex, nearly 1,000 people a majority of whom are children under 18 years old. We just know that having Internet connectivity will absolutely transform this under resourced neighborhood.
Though we have constructed a four block wide “hotspot,” without the funds to install the remaining high gain antennas, we will not be able to provide the access speeds that we know this network is capable of, up to 20 Mbps. Adding the 9db antennas to the radio units increases their bandwidth output nearly 10 times. This will bring true broadband Internet access to all 400 families who call Juniper Gardens home, in every room of every apartment.
Already with 11 of these upgraded antennas installed. over 500 devices have connected to the network in the past month. Of those, 38 Kansas City, Ks High School issued laptops have used this network. About half of the devices are smart phones. We see approximately 100 to 150 devices daily. With the rest of the antennas installed, the network will totally cover the entire complex, resulting in a greatly increased usage. In May, we will begin conducting regular digital life skills classes on-site at Juniper Gardens and offering residents there $50 refurbished laptop computers.
The sixty remaining antennas we need cost about $100 a peace.
Thanks to all who made a donation on Neighbor.ly! We now have $5,105.00 left of the total amount of $39,625 that we need to raise.
Help us complete this project with a donation through PayPal.
In March we embarked on a project to build a free broadband Wi-Fi network at Juniper Gardens, the oldest and largest public housing project in the state of Kansas.
We are pleased to announce that we met the March 31st installation deadline in order to receive a $15,000 equipment donation from One Economy Corporation! We did it by installing nearly 70 wireless radios on forty buildings at the complex, creating a four block wide “hotspot.”
We have just one final piece to the puzzle – the high power antennas needed to ensure complete cable Internet-equivalent speed to every household at Juniper Gardens. Adding the 9db antennas to the radio units increases their bandwidth output nearly 10 times. This will bring true broadband Internet access to all 400 families who call Juniper Gardens home, in every room of every apartment.
At the same time, we have drawn closer to our fund raising goal for the project. We just need the final $6,595 to purchase these antennas and the project will be completed. Once everyone at Juniper Gardens can get online, our team of trainers will begin regular digital life skills classes on-site at the complex. And, we will be offering families there a chance to get an Internet-ready computer for just $50.00.
|75 Wi-Fi transmitters ($200 ea.)||$15,000|
|Install 70 Wi-Fi transmitters ($120 ea.)||$8,400|
|70 high gain antennas (97.50 ea.)||$6,825|
|12 months of Internet service||$7,800|
|Grants and cash gifts||-$33,030|
|Total left to raise||$6,595|
HELP US FINISH THIS PROJECT! Make a donation on Neighbor.ly