CWRC owns and manages two computer labs, one at the Mt. Airy Community Center site and one at the McDonough Community Center. This was made possible through HUD’s ROSS Grant. The labs are for resident use and have Microsoft Office software loaded on them as well as access to the Internet. Because the computers were purchased and are maintained with federal funds, there are usage guidelines and restrictions. Users must agree to abide by the Computer Use Protocol posted in each lab. Failure to comply with rules may result in suspension from the lab.
PHA partners schedule and hold classes to benefit residents, such as: English as a Second Language, business training, financial management, job search and resume development. The labs help residents to achieve self-sufficiency by accessing services and programs that help them to be independent. Outside of classes, the Labs are only open if someone is available to supervise use. The Resident Initiatives Department is actively seeking volunteers to supervise and host ‘Open Lab’. Please contact Diane Anastos, Resident Initiatives Program Coordinator if interested: 651-298-4929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment and Digital Literacy
Through HUD’s (Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency) ROSS Grant, CWRC also offered public housing residents employment related services and digital literacy services, including training on how to use computers, and navigate the Internet. Job fairs were hosted and computer classes offered. At the end of the Grant, over 200 residents found jobs, and coordinators reached out to over 4,000 residents.
CWRC received a (Statewide Health Improvement Partnership) SHIP Mini-Grant in March 2018 to initiate a four-month youth community engagement project, at McDonough Homes, involving Youth Champions learning about and educating others about reducing intake of sugary beverages and promoting healthy drinking habits. Youth Champions learned about the effect of sugar on their health and made presentations to educate their peers and families. Youth received a t-shirt and water bottle as incentives. When the project ended, a celebratory event took place to recognize their accomplishments and a video produced by the City of St. Paul about the project-sugar and rethinking your drink- premiered.
Computer Use Protocol
CWRC, in collaboration with the Presidents Council, created the Computer Use Protocol, which establishes and provides guidelines to be used by all PHA residents in computer labs or stations in 2017. The Protocol is posted in the all computer labs and stations and can be found by clicking on this link. computer use protocol_approved version 2016
Debit Card Use and Policy
With an increasing need for the use of a debit card, CWRC and the Presidents Council worked together to create the Debit Card Use and Policy. This policy gives resident councils the opportunity to own a debit card to make purchases easier and safely.
CWRC’s bylaws had not been updated for the past several years. So in 2018, the CWRC Board met and reviewed the bylaws and updated it to reflect current practices and needs.
Establishment of Official Office
In 2018 CWRC reorganized its office and purchased a computer to make the office usable. Although the office is CWRC’s, the Board agreed to share the space with the Mt. Airy Resident Council.
In the past, CWRC tracks finances mainly through the traditional physical files. But in 2018 CWRC purchased QuickBooks accounting software to track finances electronically.
Launch of Official Website
In 2018 CWRC launched its official website to inform the public about its news and activities. The website helps increase communication among Council officers.