New Free Computer Distribution Program Underway for Low-Income Families and Expanded Free Home or Mobile Internet Service

Per Montgomery County: “Montgomery Connects,” Montgomery County’s digital equity and inclusion program, has launched a new program to distribute 34,000 free laptop computers to low-income families. There is a limit of one computer per address. Eligible recipients must be Maryland residents, but do not need to be U.S. citizens.

Montgomery County received a Maryland Connected Devices grant valued at $7 million dollars to distribute 34,000 Chromebook laptops to low-income households.
Appointments to receive a computer can be made at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/computer.
“Every family, regardless of income, needs a computer,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Children have access to computers through schools, but parents, working people and college students need a computer. The Maryland Connected Devices program is designed to get a computer to low-income families to close the digital divide. Low-income families are only 21 percent of County households, but they are 60 percent of County households without computers.”

Qualifications to receive a computer include:

  • Must be enrolled in a benefit program, such as SNAP food benefits, Medicaid (not regular Medicare), free school lunch, WIC, SSI (not regular Social Security), Pell Grants for college students or Housing Choice Vouchers or Project-Based Rental Assistance.
  • Must be enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity or Lifeline internet and telephone discount programs.
  • The household must earn less than 200 percent of the Federal poverty rate ($29,160 for a one-person household, $39,440 for a two-person household, $49,720 for a three-person household, $60,000 for a four-person household—and $10,280 for each additional person in the household).

After arranging an appointment to get a computer, eligible residents should bring the following items to their pick-up appointment:

  1. Photo identification
  2. Proof of address. If a person is using a Photo ID without an address (such as a passport), they must bring a piece of mail or online bill showing their address.
  3. Proof of enrollment in a benefit program or proof of income by bringing:
    • A SNAP or Medicaid card.
    • ACP or Lifeline program on an internet bill.
    • Enrollment letter showing the program name, date and notice of eligibility.
    • First page of their income tax return (a W-2 or paystub cannot be used because a person may have more than one job).

The program will prioritize Montgomery County residents 7 and older who have not received a computer from the County under a previous program. Community members do not have to be a U.S. citizen, but must be a Maryland resident. Assistance will be offered at every Montgomery Connects computer distribution event to help people enroll in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP offers up to $45 per month off home internet or mobile phone internet service.
Representatives from Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS and Wireless, T-Mobile and other service providers are at most events to help get discounts applied to accounts after enrolling in ACP.

Households are eligible for ACP using the same criteria as the Maryland Connected Devices computer program above.
The schedule for upcoming computer distribution events:

  • Thursday, July 13. Noon-4 p.m. Germantown American Job Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd. in Germantown
  • Friday, July 14. 2-6 p.m. McGee Library, 9000 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring
  • Tuesday, July 18. Noon-4 p.m. Gaithersburg Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg
  • Wednesday, July 19. Noon-4 p.m. Wheaton American Job Center, 11510 Georgia Ave., Wheaton
  • Thursday, July 20. 1-5 p.m. McGee Library, 900 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring
  • Tuesday, July 25. Noon-4 p.m. Germantown American Job Center, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown
  • Thursday, July 27. Noon-4 p.m. Aspen Hill Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville
  • Friday, July 23. 2-6 p.m. McGee Library, 9000 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week.

To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

  1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

  1. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

  1. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

  1. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

  1. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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