616-466-4335 helpme@thensi.org

Computers for Families


We provide computers and technology equipment available through our Computers for Families Initiative. We believe in order to be successful in today’s competitive workforce, direct access to technology is mandatory.

Our program is open to anybody who needs access. There are no geographic restrictions, and no income limits. We have computers available on a rolling basis. Our facility is open for computers from 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday. Reservations or appointments are not required.

You do not need to be a resident of Kent County.Starting in 2018, we will be providing the Computers for Families program in Muskegon County. This program is brought to you by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and the Gerber Foundation.

In the early spring 2018, we will be announcing dates and locations.

Our computer inventory varies as we receive computers on a rolling basis. Desktop computers start at $25. Monitors are an additional fee, starting at $25 and varying depending on size and quality.

Laptops start at $75, going up to $200. Laptops tend to sell quickly and we advise calling for specific laptop information.

Learning should be comfortable and presented without barriers or expectations. It needs no justification beyond curiosity.

Our programming specifically targets vulnerable families: those at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, first-generation college families, immigrants, single-parent households, refugees or their children, and households that lack technology. We believe that in this modern world, lacking access to current technology significantly diminishes your chances of success. It can be the difference between obtaining a sustainable career with opportunities for advancement and being stuck in the system.

While we did provide adult training in many technical skills, we found many participants could not put in the time required to learn these skills, the barrier to retention frequently became insurmountable, and there were students were unable to complete the curriculum we provided in the classroom. The bulk of this programming indeed helped many children – but not all of the children in our area, because the baseline of needs was even lower than we expected.

Computer-based homework is becoming the new standard in schools. For most students, this system works well. It permits instantaneous teacher-student-parent communication.Due to the increasing importance of technology literacy, students must now learn how to be comfortable with the technology they use, otherwise their homework will become uncomfortable and unintuitive.

The National Science Institute served to increase technology literacy in the Grand Rapids area over the last year by providing over 5,000 families with computers loaded with the software students need to succeed. We have the capacity to expand our outreach to underserved families in the area by providing
For Halloween, we gave away computers to students in the Greater Grand Rapids area.