Imagine navigating today’s world without a connected smartphone. With nearly 25 million Americans experiencing digital poverty, for many, one of the first rungs of the ladder — digital access — is missing. With the growing income divide, technology accelerates the gap by leaving those who are disadvantaged even further behind. Sparrow addresses this “last mile” (or first rung) challenge by bridging the digital divide using smartphones, data access and collective effort.
For every Sparrow subscriber, a smartphone or service plan is donated to someone in need via nonprofit partners and programs. With more mobile subscriptions in the U.S. than people, we are leveraging the massive mobile industry for positive change. Together, we are creating a more inclusive world; one smartphone and one person at a time.
U.S. Mobile Subscriptions
U.S. People in Digital Poverty
“With smartphone technology, we have been able to overcome the enormous barriers to delivering mental health care to homeless youth. Smartphones have allowed us to reach youth where they are at and offer care on demand. By giving these youth new tools and information, we believe we have the potential to help set them on a positive course towards a more stable future.”Alyson K. Zalta, Ph.D.
Mobile for All
Fighting Homelessness at Home
Wonder if mobile access really makes a difference? Having a mobile phone makes a big difference for finding a job and getting a home. Sparrow is connecting unhoused people in the Bay Area and Chicago, in partnership with Downtown Streets Team, Rubicon Programs, Rush University and others.
Black Girls CODE
Meet the Geniuses of Tomorrow
Black Girls Code empowers girls of color to become tomorrow’s innovative leaders through computer science and heightened self-esteem. Smartphones donated by Sparrow are used in mobile app workshops across the country.
Welcoming Families to Their New Home
Together, we’re improving refugee resettlement with big plans, big data, mobile phones and a dash of hope. Backed in part by a MacArthur grant and in partnership with Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services and Refugee Services of Texas.
77% of Americans today own a smartphone, but 36% of those earning less than $30,000 still do not*
There are over 430m mobile lines in service today in the U.S. but over 25m people are in digital poverty*
In the U.S., 98% of college graduates use the internet regularly, while just 68% of people with less than a high school degree do**
With more mobile subscriptions than people in the U.S., if less than 1% switch to Sparrow,
together, we can eradicate digital poverty in the U.S.
Source: * Pew Research; ** National Association of Colleges and Employers
“The phone has meant so much to me. I was able to get pictures of my dad before he passed away. I was able to get pictures and I have them in my phone and I’m very grateful.”