Mayor Scott, BCIT and Pratt Library to Distribute Free Chromebooks to Low-Income Households

Through a grant from the State of Maryland's Connected Devices Program, Baltimore City received 30,000 Chromebooks

Mayor Brandon M. Scott speaking at the Digital Equity Resource Fair

BALTIMORE, MD (Tuesday, October 3, 2023) – Last night, Mayor Brandon M. Scott—along with Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Jake Day—announced Baltimore City will distribute 30,000 free Chromebooks to eligible Baltimore City households.  

“Closing the digital divide is a one of the most important steps our community must take to improve equity in our city,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “So much of the battle in addressing this issue is access and affordability, and with these 30,000 Chromebooks, our city is poised to help tackle both for so many families. With this technology, we can help these families be better connected and ensure students are gaining the skills they’ll need to be successful in the digital age. I cannot thank our partners enough for their collaboration in this effort and their dedication to closing Baltimore’s digital divide for good.” 

The Chromebooks were secured through a grant from the State of Maryland’s Connected Devices program, which is overseen by Maryland DHCD and assists counties and municipal governments in their digital equity and inclusion efforts. 

“Across the state, there are hundreds of thousands of Marylanders whose entire economic future will be either limited–or unlocked–by whether or not they have access to affordable internet,” said Maryland DHCD Secretary Jake Day. “The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to work with Baltimore City and Pratt Library to distribute 30,000 devices to get more Marylanders online—a crucial step in our work to close the digital divide.” 

To distribute the Chromebooks, Baltimore City Information & Technology’s (BCIT) Office of Broadband & Digital Equity (BDE) has partnered with Enoch Pratt Free Library to serve as the City’s primary distribution partner. In this role, Pratt Library will assist residents in verifying their eligibility and scheduling a pickup appointment at either its Central Library or Southeast Anchor Library locations. More distribution locations are expected to be added in the coming months. 

Appointments to receive a Chromebook can be made online at prattlibrary.org/getadevice, or by calling the Central Library (410-396-5430) and Southeast Anchor Library (410-396-1580) locations. On the day of an appointment, the following is required to receive a Chromebook: 

  • Photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, work or government ID, passport, etc.) 
  • Proof of Baltimore City residence 
  • Proof of one of the following qualifications: 
    • Households with an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines 
      • $27,180 for a household of 1 
      • $36,620 for a household of 2 
      • $46,060 for a household of 3 
      • $55,500 for a household of 4 
      • Or, $9,440 more for each additional household member 
    •  Households enrolled in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) 
    • Households participating in government assistance programs, such as:  
      • Child receives free or reduced-price school lunch 
      • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) 
      • Medicaid 
      • Pell Grant (current award year) 
      • SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) 
      • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
      • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit 
      • WIC 
  • Households with an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines 
    • $27,180 for a household of 1 
    • $36,620 for a household of 2 
    • $46,060 for a household of 3 
    • $55,500 for a household of 4 
    • Or, $9,440 more for each additional household member 
  •  Households enrolled in the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) 
  • Households participating in government assistance programs, such as:  
    • Child receives free or reduced-price school lunch 
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) 
    • Medicaid 
    • Pell Grant (current award year) 
    • SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) 
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit 
    • WIC 
  • $27,180 for a household of 1 
  • $36,620 for a household of 2 
  • $46,060 for a household of 3 
  • $55,500 for a household of 4 
  • Or, $9,440 more for each additional household member 
  • Child receives free or reduced-price school lunch 
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) 
  • Medicaid 
  • Pell Grant (current award year) 
  • SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) 
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit 
  • WIC 

“We are proud to be working with our state and city partners to make sure these devices get into the hands of the people who need them the most. But we know that providing access is not enough. That is why the Pratt Library also provides free technology training and support for customers across Baltimore City to help people meet their goals,” said Pratt Library President and CEO Heidi Daniel

“This is a huge step forward in further addressing one of the major equity gaps experienced by many of our residents…affordability,” said BDE Director Kenya Asli. “With internet assistance programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program and the Maryland Emergency Broadband Benefit subsidy already in place, and now the availability of Chromebooks, residents with the greatest need have viable means of fully participating in a digital society.”  

In addition to scheduling an appointment at one of Pratt Library’s distribution locations, eligible households will have opportunities to secure a Chromebook during various distribution events hosted at local community sites throughout Baltimore City. 

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