NEW YORK — Thousands of the city’s most vulnerable residents will be receiving a free tablet to help them stay connected and informed during the COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday.
The city has partnered with T-Mobile to provide internet-enabled tablets to 10,000 seniors living in New York City Housing Authority complexes in the Bronx and Brooklyn. The initiative is part of a broader city plan to combat COVID-19 in public housing.
“One of the most painful realities of this crisis … has been grandparents who can’t see their grandchildren or their children. Seniors who used to get visits of one kind or another, which kept their spirits up and got them the help they needed,” de Blasio said. “A lot of them are particularly isolated right now. We want to make it a little bit easier and one of the ways, of course, is through technology.”
The $5 million investment will benefit “particularly isolated” residents in Mott Haven, Brownsville, East New York, Red Hook, Bushwick and Coney Island.
“So they can stay in touch with their family and loved ones and get the help they need,” the mayor added.
Tablet instructions and a telephone hotline will be provided to each resident to help them set up the device and troubleshoot problems.