(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The City of Colorado Springs is launching a new program to help bridge the digital divide in the community by opening up applications for the Digital Equity Grant starting Nov. 9 through Dec. 14

The program is aimed to help those without connected devices or adequate digital skills who have been more negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased digitization seen in its aftermath, according to the City of Colorado Springs.

Public and private non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply for the Digital Equity Grants to increase services that will create greater digital equity for historically underserved communities across the city. The City of Colorado Springs said a total of up to $800,000 has been made available for this grant.

“While it might be hard for some to imagine, there are still residents across the city without proper devices or the skills to succeed in a new digital age, and COVID-19 has only made that divide worse,” said Carlos Tamayo, innovation manager for the City. “This new city grant program will help to close that divide that limits access to information and opportunities that support health and well-being, financial stability, and community cohesion.”  

The City’s Office of Innovation is looking to fund projects within three key focus areas of digital equity: access to connected devices, digital skills training and technical support.

Eligible applicants include local governments, school districts, state/federal agencies, non-profit organizations, library districts and faith-based organizations. Organizations must have an active status in the System for Award Management. 

The City will hold a Question & Answer session virtually for this program on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m.