In today’s information economy, access to a computer as well as knowledge of how to use one, fall into the category described above as non-survival necessities. Without access or knowledge of computers one cannot fully take part in today’s society. The lack of computer skills creates a barrier to finding employment and also prevents people from communicating freely with loved ones. Hence, the act of giving simple computer lessons to homeless and low income individuals can decrease feelings of social exclusion, increase self esteem and allow for participation in today’s society in a meaningful and dignified way. Who would have thought that something as simple as a computer class could have such positive effects?
3. MS Word
4. MS Publisher
5. MS picture manager
Often street people have no form of communication other than e-mail. They have no address, no phone and limited access to computers. E-mail is really the only way to communicate with family members etc. E-mail is an immediate need for this segment of the population.
A perfect example of this is a man named Richard who would communicate with his father via e-mail. His father lived in Vancouver but would fly in often to Montreal for business. Every time he would come in to town he would communicate with his son via e-mail so that they could meet for dinner and catch up. On those days Richard would ask me for a razor, go into our clothing grab a clean pair of slacks and a shirt so that he could go out with his father. Having access to e-mail allowed him to keep in touch with his father.
The computer learning center is also being used to teach people how to create a CV. Just recently a man who was cook asked for help typing up a his CV. With the help of a Volunteer he typed up and printed his CV. This man who was a chef by trade then went around handing out his CV to several restaurants around Montreal. He came back the following week to inform us that he had gotten a job as prep chef and that he could not have done it without the help of the Labre house and its volunteers.