LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Distance learning has brought to light a number of equity challenges facing many Los Angeles County students and their families. One challenge that stands out is the lack of wifi connectivity to allow adequate access to at home learning and other resources.
The YMCA-LA and SoCalGas have partnered to provide free unlimited internet access to outdoor spaces at 20 Y branches throughout Los Angeles. This initiative is funded via a generous donation made by SoCalGas of $60,000 and provides in-need communities with this vital utility.
"We greatly appreciate the generosity of SoCalGas," said Mario Valenzuela, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, YMCA-LA. "Their donation allows us to give in-need communities equal access to the internet and in turn equal opportunities as everyone else to learn and thrive."
The goal of the initiative is to bridge the digital divide with free wifi connectivity to support distance learning, offer career counseling, tele-health resources, job opportunities and other necessary resources to thrive in today's current climate.
The program kicks off on October 19 with four Y branches: Weingart East Los Angeles Family YMCA; Weingart YMCA Wellness & Aquatic Center; Wilmington Family YMCA; and Montebello-Commerce Family YMCA. An additional 16 branches will follow in the next few weeks with all branches operational by November.
"SoCalGas and the YMCA share the common goal of improving the quality of life in the communities in which we serve. We are proud to partner with the Y to help close the digital divide and provide free public wifi to all," said Cedric Williams, Vice President of Customer Services for SoCalGas and YMCA Board Member. "This initiative will open the doors of opportunity to many Angelenos, in particular students, jobseekers, and those in need of tele-health resources."
Internet access is unlimited and availability is in line with branch hours. Visit ymcala.org to find wifi locations and information.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable gas by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its pipeline system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
About the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles:
Since the pandemic crisis YMCA-LA has been supporting the community by providing over 750,000 Grab & Go meals to kids and teens and their families, delivering tens of thousands of meals to homebound seniors and providing 25,000+ hours of free child care to emergency responders and essential workers. They have leveraged their facilities to provide nearly 15,000 showers for the homeless and are hosting over 70 blood drives to ensure LA County's blood supply is ready for all of our needs. The Y also wishes to thank their members for their commitment. Without them, the Y could not have provided the level of community support during these difficult times. For more information on YMCA-LA programs visit www.ymcala.org
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company