International Policy Center Home Page

Digital Access and Literacy in the Villages at Parkside

January 2022 - April 2022

Executive Summary

Friends of Parkside (FOP) is a not-for-profit, community-based organization located on Detroit’s east side in the Villages at Parkside, a public housing complex. FOP has a 15-member board of directors consisting of Parkside residents and representatives from community-based organizations.This project focused on digital access in the Parkside community, specifically identifying residents’ ability to access resources and participate in programs that will enhance their ability to use less energy and save money. The deliverable was a participant pre-survey of the residents in the housing complex. The survey design included expert insight while using the demographics of the area for concise, targeted questions and was distributed to residents through Friends of Parkside staff and volunteers. The students also assisted in the completion of an IRB application through the University of Michigan. Friends of Parkside will host a participant recruitment workshop in collaboration with the University of Michigan team and will collaborate with Walker-Miller Energy Services to deliver weatherization measures and home energy scoring at the Villages at Parkside. Through the project, the student team concluded that low-income consumers need access to digital devices and reliable Wi-Fi in order to take advantage of programs that will help them save energy and money, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Partner

 Friends of Parkside