Rocket Mortgage commits $1.4 million to effort to help Detroiters gain digital access

  • Effort part of City’s Connect 313 strategy

Rocket Mortgage today announced a $1.4-million investment into Connect 313, the City of Detroit's effort to ensure all Detroiters have digital access. Jay Farner, Rocket Mortgage CEO, made the announcement at the Mayor’s news briefing July 15. Farner was joined by Joshua Edmonds, the City’s Director of Digital Inclusion and Poverty Solutions Fellow, and Darienne Driver, President and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

In June, Rocket Mortgage launched the Connect 313 Fund to support efforts to improve digital access for Detroit residents utilizing a citywide, data-driven strategy. Funds came from proceeds from the Rock Mortgage Classic, the golf tournament held earlier in July at the Detroit Golf Club. United Way will administer the Connect 313 Fund.

The goal of the City’s Connect 313 program is to help Detroiters gain access to quality devices, Internet connectivity, technical support, and digital literacy and resources for improved learning, employment, and well-being. Utilizing a data-driven approach, the first priority is to determine residents’ access to digital devices and the Internet, Edmonds said.

Connect 313 also will work with residents and organizations interested in the effort; develop neighborhood hubs with digital access; utilize ambassadors to promote the project; and financially support organizations promoting digital access.

About 30 percent of Detroit households don’t have Internet access, and 40 percent of those with cell phones do not have data plans, officials say.

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