Best Essay Service Paper on Introduction of a Computer Laboratory

Introduction of a Computer Laboratory at Bethany House

Introduction

            Bethany House has been in existence for approximately 36 years since the Amityville Sisters established it in 1978. It is a non-profit making institution that provides homeless women and children with shelter within its premises. The incorporation of Bethany House was in 1987 in Nassau County and appointed an overseeing board of directors in 1990. For the past three years, Bethany House has undergone an impressive growth of over 400% in its accommodation capacity for the homeless moving from 17 beds 85 beds per night. Because of the increasing number of homeless people in this facility who needs to live a normal life as other citizens, it is important that the homeless learn the modern computer skills to enable them absorb technology within their systems. Among this growing population of the homeless within Bethany House are children who are the majority and computer trainings will be beneficial to their developments (Marx, 1990). The intention of this project is to introduce a computer laboratory within the facility premises, whereby experienced social workers will facilitate the training of the homeless. With the importance that technology brings in the accomplishment of various modern tasks and undertakings, it is vital for the homeless persons to adopt technology and engage in computer training irrespective of their status. Having considered the past records of Bethany House, its reputation, and the social stand that befits it, choosing it over the rest was an easy option.

The SWOT Analysis of Bethany House

Strengths

            Bethany House’s long standing reputation is what gives it an advantage over the rest of homeless caretakers because it has been in existence for over three decades supporting homeless women and children (Wells, 1998). Such an achievement makes the public and organizations develop an interest, which is vital in receiving financial and humanitarian support. The stability of Bethany House relies on the ability to house the homeless within its own premises therefore much financial support is not necessary for its operations. Despite the lack of immediate need for funding, organizations, firms, and individuals still donate funds and resources because of Bethany House’s humanitarian connection as well as its social stand within the community. The public and organizations are impressed with the work and organization of Bethany House and this makes them appreciate it through donations. Consequently, through the donations of well-wishers, Bethany House has the financial ability to fund and implements its projects to the benefit of the homeless and corresponding community.The humanitarian interventions of the institution attract support from the public in form of volunteer workforce as well, and in the process enabling it to have adequate social workers to handle the increasing number of homeless people. In addition, the availability of experienced workforce enables the projects and operations of Bethany House to run smoothly because handling the homeless from varied backgrounds require skills and experience. Equally, experienced staff has the capability of handling complicated cases among the homeless. By having a committed and passionate management, the humanitarian agency offers a suitable shelter to homeless persons while improving their living conditions and quality (Woelfer, & Hendry, 2011).

Weaknesses

            Despite the achievements and reputation Bethany House upholds within the community, it still faces challenges ranging from financial constraints to accusations of feminism. While most organizations and agencies embrace the business model culture within their systems, the management of Bethany House is quite different. Failure to adopt a business mind to its operations results in both financial shortage and inability to comply with agency regulations mainly because of its non-profit policy. The inadequacy of financial support is a huge challenge because Bethany House is unable to improve on its aging facilities which were bought during the first years of its establishment although there is a necessary need for infrastructural overhaul. Apart from the facility overhaul, decision making within this agency needs a change as well because it is the Board of Members that makes decisions and invent ideas. Bethany House faces accusations of poor decision making and policy implementation because of non-flexibility in management. Homelessness is an issue that affects people irrespective of age, gender, or religious affiliation. However, Bethany House only considers and shelters women and children while rejecting men and this has seen the public raise issues complaining of male discrimination (Wells, 1998).

Opportunities

            The non-profit policy of Bethany House means they face financial challenges therefore the cost of employing a workforce seems expensive. To ensure that the agency continues with its policy and at the same time have available staff to facilitate the well-being of the homeless, Bethany House embraces employment of volunteers. By employing non-salaried workforce, the labor costs reduce significantly. In addition, excellent reputation and the impressive relationship the agency enjoys with the public makes it possible Bethany House exploits the chance through humanitarian aid and donations. With the varied existence and diversity of the homeless, the agency has shown flexibility in service delivery and tolerance to the homeless nation who are of different cultures, religion, beliefs, and origin. Because of the ability to welcome people from all backgrounds, service delivery of Bethany house is much desirable. There are other opportunities like online donations enabled through well designed and managed website which eases the way the willing fundraisers access and contribute to Bethany House.

Threats

            The ever increasing population of the homeless people requires that there should be adequate housing facilities to accommodate the number, but due to the financial challenges of Bethany House, there is a looming fear of failure in admission of other homeless persons. Unless the agency receives more funding to build more facilities, Bethany House may halt accommodating more people. Being one of the oldest charity organizations giving homage to the homeless, Bethany House has enjoyed monopolistic support from donors for its service delivery. Although it still receives the largest share of financial and humanitarian support, Bethany House faces the challenge of competing for donor funds with other new charity organizations. Without adequate funds, service delivery within this organization may crumble exposing the homeless to the danger of relocating. To accommodate people permanently, Bethany House needs a lot of workforce and finances but due to the increasing number of competing agencies, funding is limited. Therefore, the agency fears it might fail in its attempt to make all members permanent residents.

            Having reviewed the SWOT analysis of Bethany House, it is important that this charity agency receives adequate support from the public and other able organizations so that it continues to offer service delivery to the homeless. As a community member who believes in social well-being and integration as well as sound leadership, we propose that a well-equipped computer laboratory will benefit the agency and its residents. By adopting the modern technology, the homeless can transform their lives when they find job opportunities. And considering that most modern jobs demand the digital knowledge, the experience the homeless receive from Bethany House may be crucial. Computer knowledge is important in different ways and sectors like communication whereby interacting through emails and social network is much more efficient. To avoid living in isolation, the institution should adopt our prop because the homeless have the right to live like the rest of us without isolation (Woelfer, & Hendry, 2011).

Literature Review

            This project is concerned with analysis of a computer laboratory and how it can be influential to the lives of the homeless people currently accommodated at Bethany House. It also reviews literature on the effects of knowledge the homeless get and how the agency and community benefit. Research shows that knowledge is an important commodity in life of people because it improves perception and social well-being. Most homeless people lack education or any form of training that can better their lives (Marx, 1990). Communication is a necessary process in the modern world irrespective of the media people use. However, of late computer based communication strategies are popular with the most common being the social media where the homeless people can interact with other people as well as engage in community issues. The use of social media helps in understanding the problems that the homeless community undergoes and this reason is why computer knowledge is vital in their lives (Wells, 1998). Because homeless people are poor therefore they are unable to fund their training and education through the normal system, computer use becomes helpful especially studying over the internet where they access valuable information. Research shows that out of the homeless population, people with a little education are highly likely to adopt the computer usage as compared to those with no education at all. Previous studies also show that the aged homeless people are less likely to embrace technology than the young ones.  By using the internet, the homeless people of Bethany House interact with other people outside enabling them to learn new life ideas, and this changes their attitude and perception. Having conducted the study, research reveals that while the majority are interested in computer training, some have already developed apathy while some argued that they are already computer literate therefore the training will not add any value to their vast knowledge. Equally, the homeless may use social media and other internet platforms to apply for jobs as well as access information on health matters. By introducing a computer facility at Bethany House, people will have the opportunity to commit themselves to a valuable course rather spending their time idle which might promote mischief and theft. Despite the few negative effects of computer literacy like access to pornography, the benefits it brings to Bethany House outweigh the negative impacts. Because most homeless people lack the finance to purchase laptops therefore building a computer laboratory within the institution is beneficial to their well-being. The study examines the importance of such a facility brings to the homeless which proves necessary for their development and integration into the normal system.

Impact ofTechnology on the Homeless

            For the homeless what it is most important is finding a place to shelter. However, after finding accommodation it is important to interact with the rest of the world with this only being possible through an effective means of communication and technology application (Marx, 1990). Within the premises of Bethany House there are several activities one cannot perform without the use of a computer. Computers assist people in different ways that include job application, accessing medical information and records, security updates, interacting with friends and family on social media, and mostly acquiring knowledge. Because of the large number of homeless people at Bethany House, buying laptops for individuals is expensive and this is what prompts the introduction of a computer lab which can accommodate all the interested individuals of the agency (2014, April 23). Retrieved November 20, 2014.

Conceptual Framework

The study reveals that within the Bethany House facility which comprises only women and children, 60 percent of the women has a computer experience while only 40% of the children have used computers before. This revelation heightens the need to build a computer laboratory within the premises of Bethany House where the homeless people will be able to access.

Influence of Technology on Social Life

            The homeless people exploit the use of technology in different ways with the goal of improving their social welfare. A large percentage of the respondents in this study share the opinion that the majority are emotionally affected due to the lack of communication systems within the premises of Bethany House. While some fear the lack of proper interaction with the mainstream community consisting of family members and friends, others cite the opportunities they miss out on without computer education. Computer based technology is important to the homeless because through online registration and bookings, the people are able to avoid long queues that jeopardize their operations and schedule. Among the homeless respondents interviewed, one shared a story of how she lost her childhood boyfriend because of lack of the internet and computers whereby they could not maintain their traditional chat ritual on Facebook. She cited how much having a computer means because apart from the social interaction with men, there is also an important part of life in education and awareness creation. She elaborated how she had enrolled for an online certificate coursein Public Relations and with outmost enthusiasm she declared herself as an achiever compared to her illiterate compatriots. Despite her admirable reviews about achievements,the issue of financial challenges still troubled her.Although adoption of computer technology has a lot of benefits, there are also certain areas that influence people negatively with a special reference to children. Pornography is a bad practice for all ages but most importantly to children therefore accessing the internet at an early age exposes minors to bad behavior. With this in mind, administrators should be able to restrict accessibility on various applications and sites especially for children programs because explicit videos and games create moral decay (Woelfer, &Hendry, 2011).

Methodology

            The research on the need for a computer laboratory took place at Bethany House and it involved 200 homeless people within the facility with 100 female adults and the rest children. The study was both analog and technology based. To collect accurate information, the research adopted the use of computer based questionnaires wherecomputer illiterate persons received assistance while the rest undertook the challenge independently. After creating awareness about the interview through the use of fliers and the public notices, the interviews eventually happened taking two weeks to complete. The application of fliers was mainly due to the lack of technologically based systems within the agency premises. Unlike other centers, here the reception and collaboration of both the administrators and the respondents was overwhelming.The social center of the facility was an ideal place for the interviews with its spacious nature accommodating the respondents after their lunch breaks. The main study questions were if they needed computers and how it might change their lives. The study was also interested in knowing any previous experiences with computers and how it changed one’s life. The participants freely expressed themselves because there was no definite timeframe for each respondent, and later the researcher analyzed the findings to come up with an appropriate solution.

Findings

            The research revealed that despite their accommodate problems; majority of the homeless persons had previously used computers within a higher percentage citing social media as their preference with a specific mention of Facebook. Other respondents also cited Twitter as their preference. Apparently of the total number of adult respondents, 7 percent have never used a computer before while 40 percent of the children are yet to access computers citing inability of their parents to buy. Out of 200 respondents, only four homeless people interviewed owned either a desktop computer or a laptop. The majority mentioned that they usually resort to cyber café if they want to access computers with this proving costly considering their conditions. The researched also learnt some of the reasons why the homeless need computers and the internet thereafter, and the majority cited financial support from well-wishers as one reason why they feel internet and computers are essential requirements. On the other hand, some who mentioned the preference of Facebook mentioned the need to interact with friends and families as the motivating factor. The use of emails for communication seems to be an important factor for the homeless especially in the quest for jobs and official communication matters. Strangely, the old members of this community are reluctant to embrace computer knowledge because they feel it is meant for the younger generation. Out of 20 old women aged between 50 and 80, only three welcomed the introduction of a computer laboratory within the premises.

Discussion

            This study aimed at finding out how important computer technology is to the homeless community and how it impacts their lives. Historically, the government and the community have always neglected the homeless community because of varied perceptions. It is important to offer people what they deserve in life irrespective of their backgrounds or economic well-being. The study will ensure that the homeless just like the rest access basic life requirements. By understanding the challenges that these people undergo, a laboratory set up within Bethany House is a welcome favor because it equips them with the necessary knowledge as well as interacting with the rest of the world through social media. Considering the financial constraints of Bethany House, it is unable to build such a facility without community aid; therefore it is upon well-wishers to help implement the project. Most importantly, computers help in writing job application forms, filling in medical records, and processing social benefits fund among other essential needs. Setting up a computer laboratory within the facility will ease facilitation of these important aspects of life through training where they learn how to build and manage e-mail accounts, writing curriculum vitae for job search, and train on website management. With the set-up of the computer laboratory, the homeless will enroll in online education which provides needed knowledge for modern market.

Conclusion

            The research found out that although the homeless people are eager to embrace technology as a ritual, the lack of facilities is what hinders their quest. The majority of the homeless at Bethany House are computer literate therefore introduction of an available computer laboratory will help them in everyday practice and education with the hope of a better life afterwards.  The research concludes that every human being needs equal treatment irrespective of their current states. In addition, by analyzing the study, it is evident that there is a need for a computer laboratory at Bethany House because the respondents feel it is necessary in their lives. The respondents are in dire need of training and education on computer technology because of the impact it has in their well-being. To bridge the gap between the homeless and the rest in terms of technology, computer classes are necessary so that they can learn and use the knowledge to improve lives.

References

Woelfer, J., & Hendry, D. (2011). Homeless young people and technology.Interactions, 70-70.

(2014, April 23). Retrieved November 20, 2014, from http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140423/OPINION/140429753/10309/OPINION?template=printart

Ashurst, C. (2012). Benefits realization from information technology. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Burenstein, B., & Sorrentino, J. (1991). A message from H.O.M.E.: Literacy and computer training in shelters for homeless people; an adult literacy curriculum. Philadelphia, Pa.: Community Outreach Group, Office of Computing Services, Drexel University.

Holland, E. (2007). Bethany House: Faith & action. Preston: Preston Bethany Trust.

Marx, D. (1990). The homeless. Vero Beach, FL: Rourke.

Technology, I. (1985). Caring for the hungry and homeless: Exemplary programs. Washington, D.C.: Public Technology.

Wells, S. (1998). On the margins: Creating opportunities for learning with computer technology for homeless people. Toronto: Frontier College Press.