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ShelterTech: Using Tech to Help Close the Digital Divide

On Wednesday, March 9, SF Global Shapers and friends joined Darcel Jackson for a ShaperTalk on Closing the Digital Divide (FB event here). 
During the discussion, Darcel Jackson shared his personal experience -- how he went from being homeless to starting a small business to becoming a tech entrepreneur.

After Darcel was injured and lost his job as a welder working on the new Bay Bridge, he became homeless. He realized that the longer he stayed in that condition, the harder it would become to escape it. He managed to find and take cooking classes, start a catering company, and escape poverty.

From his experience living on the streets, Darcel realized that it's hard to find the resources and time to get trained in a new field and search for jobs. Now, Darcel has started ShelterTech, supported by SF Global Shapers, to help people who are where he was find the resources they need to get their lives back. 

ShelterTech aims to create tech-driven solutions for low income, homeless, and underserved members of our community. Since 2015, ShelterTech has equipped one shelter and 7 SROs with free Wifi, providing more than 1,000 underserved people with access to the Internet.

This year, supported by Global Shapers, the ShelterTech team is building AskDarcel, an app that leverages access to smartphones and WiFi to provide those in need with a "virtual case manager," guiding users through a step-by-step process to improve their lives. 

You can donate to ShelterTech here, or get in touch with the team at askdarcel@gmail.com.