HRCAP providing internet access to help residents find employment


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY)- Starting on Monday, the Hampton Roads Community Action Program will help residents in need gain access to the internet.

The program is launching a mobile community resource bus as a place where people can come to use the internet for job searches.

Steven Brown, who is the director of workforce development for HRCAP, says it’s for people who don’t have access to WiFi at home.

“This is the first one we have,” Brown said about the bus, which is parked at the Lift and Connect Envision Center in Ridley Park.

Residents must schedule an appointment and be at least 18 years old to be let on the bus.

Brown says it can be used not only for job searches, but also for creating resumes and virtual job interviews.

“It’s extremely important because for a lot of jobs, you now have to go online to apply. You can float your resume online to apply. A lot of times, people have cell phones with internet but they can’t really access a good signal. We feel this is the best opportunity and we have staff here who can help navigate websites. We have technical assistance as well,” he said.

Brown says HRCAP has been around for more than 50 years in the community and provides a number of services, most notably Head Start early childhood and preschool programs.

Although the doors to some of their centers are closed to due the coronavirus outbreak, they are still trying to do all they can to help people find employment.

“There are essential jobs that people need to be in. We are trying to help our participants and clients gain essential job positions. Transportation is a need. Housing is a need. Food is a need because young people are out of school. Domestic violence is on the increase and rise. We’re still trying to fill those needs and there are many. They will continue to happen but we will try to provide those needs and services,” he said.

HRCAP is also trying to help the homeless population.

They have set up mobile showers outside the Four Oaks Service Day Center in Newport News.

“They can get a hot shower, clothing for a job interview, a meal, and bus transportation. Even though there’s a pandemic, people still have needs. As a community action agency, we are cognizant of those who are the least of these, those who are still in need of services,” he said.

The mobile showers are available on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The bus is located at 618 18th Street in Newport News.

The day center is located at 7401 Warwick Blvd.

For more information, click here.

The number to call to make an appointment is 757-310-6486.

HRCAP hopes to take the bus throughout the region to provide more residents with access to WiFi once the pandemic is over.

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