SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- SoLa Impact, a real estate fund aiming to create social impact in South Los Angeles, got help from community leaders, including former NBA player, Baron Davis, to raise money to provide Chromebooks with internet to families in need.
"We have about 3,000 tenants in the broader South LA area," said CEO and founder of SoLa Impact, Martin Muoto. "And we reached out to them very early in the COVID-19 pandemic to assess how they were doing and what their needs were."
One South LA family said their two kids had to share a laptop and sometimes the kids class schedules would conflict.
"They'll both be able to make their scheduled classes on time," Brian Wallace Sr. said about receiving the Chromebooks. "At a time when we couldn't afford to do it, not only is it a great opportunity, but it's also a blessing for our family."
Muoto said they've been helping tenants fill out applications for various financial assistance and have offered food supplies, but he said one of the critical needs they noticed was the access to technology.
"We were quickly able to raise what is now $24,000 to buy the technology," Muoto said. "We also went out to Spectrum and Verizon to provide free or subsidized internet to our tenants during this time."
"The best thing we can do is do our part," Davis said. "And give them the tools and continue to motivate and encourage other people to follow this path and give them the tools so that they can be successful."
Mouto said while the pandemic is disproportionately impacting low income communities, it is a critical time for landlords to try to help provide assistance to their tenants when possible.
"Developers and landlords can really partner with nonprofits and really bring together our various competencies to meet the needs of the communities," Mouto said.