In the midst of Silicon Valley, thousands of residents in San Francisco’s Chinatown are without access to computers. This means they’re cut off from essential services like access to jobs, vital information, and staying in touch with family and friends. We’re building a new computer lab in Chinatown to change this.
The new computer lab will be built at Cameron House, a nonprofit organization that has served Chinatown for almost 150 years. Cameron House serves residents ages 6 to 100, so this is a chance to build an intergenerational program that brings computer access to all ages.
“My hope is that the Computer Lab is set up and the students can come in person and communicate with each other so that they don’t feel lonely. This can help them learn new, different technologies.” - Flora Lock, Cameron House ESL Instructor of 12 Years
How will this computer lab be used?
- Homework help with instructor assistance
- Basic coding and computer skills
- Learning and applying for colleges
- Online ESL classes to improve language skills
- Accessing healthcare information and virtual Doctor’s appointments
- Applying for housing
- Video calls to keep in touch with family and friends
“Most kids don’t have access to computers at home. Because this is a place for after-school and they get their homework done here, it’s more useful to have a computer here where a teacher can help them.” - Angel, High School Freshman
Who We Are
The effort to build a new computer lab in Chinatown is led by Cameron House with support from The John and Erica Jersin Foundation and 13 Fund.
Cameron House was founded in 1874 and today remains in the same location at Stockton and Sacramento streets. Cameron House empowers the San Francisco Chinese community through family-centered programs and builds on the legacy of its founder, Donaldina Cameron, who is credited with helping more than 3,000 girls escape slavery in early 20th century Chinatown.
The John and Erica Jersin Foundation is dedicated to improving the future by leveraging technical, scientific and strategic insight.
13 Fund is a joint venture in angel philanthropy backed by Bilal Mahmood and Jason Shen. 13 Fund has previously made contributions to universal basic income for Bay Area restaurant workers (via Oakland Workers Fund) and has funded training and resources to stop Anti-Asian Hate (via Right To Be).
After learning the stories of families living in Single Residency Occupancies (SROs), we spoke to nearly a dozen organizations in Chinatown who were working towards solutions. We believe a new computer lab will work to close the digital divide in Chinatown and bring resources and opportunities that will transform lives.
How You Can Help
We are raising $50,000 to build a computer lab in Chinatown.
-The first $20,000 we raise will go towards 20 laptop computers
-The next $20,00 we raise will go towards 20 iPads, software, and accessories
-The remaining money will go towards instructor salaries and programs
Equipment will include twenty laptop computers, twenty tablets, accessories, and a lockable cabinet for storage. Instructor salary will contribute partial hours of a staff member to teach classes and provide assistance.