Metrolink donates surplus computers for refurbishing and resale, while transforming lives for technicians trying to make a fresh start
This month, Metrolink donated nearly 120 computers and other electronics equipment to Homeboy Electronics Recycling which will provide second lives for the devices — all while also helping to train technicians for careers in electronic repair and maintenance.
Well-known award-winning social enterprise Homeboy Industries is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world and has stood as a beacon of hope in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. The organization’s subsidiary, Homeboy Electronics Recycling, is an affiliated R2 certified social enterprise which facilitates the proper disposal and management of used IT assets across Southern California. Metrolink regularly supports Homeboy’s mission to offer a second chance at transforming lives by donating used computers and other information technology (IT) equipment, which Homeboy then refurbishes and resells to eligible nonprofits.
The demand for IT skills and low-cost equipment continues to grow and Metrolink has forged a growing partnership with Homeboy’s connectHOPE program, which helps to address the growing digital divide affecting underrepresented and marginalized individuals in the Southern California community.
These community organizations give the computer equipment and those who rehabilitate it an opportunity to build a new future and career. Refurbishing this technology offers benefits to those who can use it to digitally connect, while those who fix it overcome a range of social barriers including systemic challenges in returning to work and receive on-the-job-training.
The refurbishing work is performed by Homeboy employees, many of whom have been formerly incarcerated and were involved in gangs, and now face barriers to employment. The training the organization offers these individuals represents a chance to create a stable lifestyle, and a fresh start. Since 2011, Homeboy Electronics Recycling has employed at least 50 people, providing them with steady work and supportive services to direct their lives toward a positive future.
“We appreciate Metrolink’s continued equipment donations and are pleased to have provided them with electronics recycling services over the past several years,” said Chris Zwicke, CEO of Homeboy Electronics Recycling. “We are excited to expand that relationship to include decommissioned, reusable computers as part of Homeboy’s connectHOPE initiative. Together we can help bridge the digital divide.”
The Fuzzy Feelings Are Mutual
Each year, Homeboy refurbishes thousands of computers, diverting millions of pounds of electronics away from the landfill while creating jobs for people who face systemic barriers to employment. Metrolink is grateful to have the opportunity to offer ongoing support to this organization’s business.
“Metrolink is committed to helping local community organizations be successful,” said Metrolink’s Chief Technology Officer Melvin Lee on the program. “Homeboy has been one of our most important partners, and we are pleased to give our continued support.”
The Metrolink team will continue to go above and beyond in its philanthropic initiatives, serving those in the community who need support the most. In addition to Homeboy, Metrolink supports local organizations in communities that it serves through its Metrolink Cares program which you can learn more about, here.