How can Service Coordinators find web-based services and trainings?
In addition to community-based services, ROSS Service Coordinators may refer program participants to online trainings and resources. These resources can be accessed by participants at their convenience, and may be self-directed. Web-based services and trainings are particularly useful for program participants who:
- Have limited mobility;
- Live in rural areas or places with few service providers; or
- Are employed or enrolled in school and have difficulty attending trainings during class or work hours.
Some services may bear a fee, especially if participants receive a certificate or other verification of program completion.
Before referring participants to online trainings, ROSS Service Coordinators should ensure that websites are safe and reputable. Good places to start include trainings and resources offered by U.S. government agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. It may also be necessary to help participants access the Internet and affordable computers (see textbox). PHAs often have onsite computer centers and local libraries generally have computers for public use. Service Coordinators may also provide a referral to a publicly-available computer lab as well as programs that provide low-cost home Internet service.
ConnectHomeUSA is a public-private initiative to connect residents of HUD-assisted housing, including public housing, with affordable high-speed Internet service, low-cost devices, and training. Many of the major Internet Service Providers offer low-cost offers for people receiving government assistance.
The Alliance for Technology Refurbishing and Reuse is a nonprofit organization that can help grantees access low-cost computer devices.