How to get a free computer and internet if you're job hunting right now

OhioMeansJobs partners with PCs for People
Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 10.08.02 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 10.07.45 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-06-10 at 10.07.26 AM.png
Posted at 1:47 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 13:47:08-04

CLEVELAND — At PCs for People, the work during the coronavirus pandemic has been busier than ever before.

The organization provides low-cost or free computers, internet and tech support to low-income Clevelanders — working out of their storefront on 31st and St. Clair in Cleveland.

“Since COVID has happened, our demand for computers has gone up ten-fold,” said executive director Bryan Mauk. “So we’ve gone from doing a couple hundred a month to well over a thousand every month.”

And while they’re grateful to help the community so much, Mauk said now — they need a little help, too.

“Unfortunately the donation of computers coming has only increased five-fold so we’re reaching out to corporations that are getting ready to recycle their computers,” Mauk said. “We provide free data wiping and free pickup for corporations. We need more computers so we can deploy them out to people in need.”

People who need computers to file for unemployment, apply to jobs, or attend virtual job fairs.

Mauk said that in Cleveland, data shows one in five households do not have a computer or internet access.

“So not having a computer or internet at home, not being able to go places like the library, or even friends houses, has really isolated folks that don’t have those connections,” he explained.

It is why Cuyahoga County and Ohio Means Jobs teamed up with PCs for People to provide free kits that include a computer and internet hotspot.

It comes with preloaded software like Windows 10 and three months of free internet.

After that, unlimited data can cost as low as $16 a month. And the nonprofit isn’t just serving Cleveland.

The free computers are sent statewide — shipped to Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown, Elyria and Lorain.

The organization also partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to hand out free computers to families during free meal pick-ups when the pandemic forced schools to close.

To qualify for a free computer, you just sign up with Ohio Means Jobs.

If you’d like to purchase a low-cost computer — laptops for $50, desktops for $30 — you can head to the PCS for People store on 31st and St. Clair.

Click the link for more details.

If you’re on food stamps, Medicaid or any type of government assistance, you are eligible. Just bring in documentation to provide proof.

Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.