Investment powers a west side community staple, and combats the growing digital divide that exists among many underserved communities
Buffalo, N.Y., December 9, 2021 – Greenlight Networks, New York’s fastest fiber-to-the-home internet services provider, officially flipped the switch at West Side Community Services by donating to the organization $80,000 in high-speed fiber optic internet.
As part of Greenlight Networks’ commitment to supporting the communities where it operates, West Side Community Services was selected to receive this donation in response to the growing digital divide that exists among many underserved communities.
West Side Community Services has become much more than a gathering place as a result of the pandemic. When schools went virtual in 2020, and then transitioned to a hybrid model, the center opened its doors to become a virtual learning center for west side residents – ensuring neighbors had a free, safe place to learn.
“Many of our neighbors lack sufficient internet access at their homes and are forced to find an alternative solution for their internet needs,” said Crystal Selk, West Side Community Services Executive Director. “When the pandemic hit, our center saw a staggering 60% increase in usage by our neighbors. Students were coming to the center to use the internet for their academic assignments and virtual learning, and our senior adults were utilizing our internet services as a way to virtually connect with friends and family members.”
West Side Community Services supports a robust and diverse population of west side neighbors, and its physical location is in the heart of “America’s most diverse neighborhoods.” The center has expanded to offer additional programming, services, and partnerships to ensure it is able to fulfill its mission of engaging, connecting and supporting its residents.
“Organizations like West Side Community Services embody the values that we look for in our community partners,” said Lori White, Greenlight Networks. “Our company is committed to ensuring that all people have access to reliable and fast internet, and we are pleased to make investments in the communities we serve.”
West side residents are invited to utilize the computer lab at West Side Community Services for their internet needs. The computer lab is available to the public Tuesday-Thursday, 10-2:00pm, and is following all Covid-guidelines. Expanded hours and programs will be added in 2022. West Side Community Services also operates a food pantry, after school youth programs, senior programs, and a family stay and play center for its youngest west side residents.
About Greenlight Networks LLC.
Greenlight Networks is an ultra-high-speed, broadband service provider, offering residential and small business customers Internet speeds up to 2 Gigabit per second. Greenlight Networks was founded in 2011 in Rochester, N.Y. Tom Golisano acquired a controlling interest in Greenlight Networks in mid-2018. Since then, Greenlight has tripled its staff and brought high-speed fiber internet to more than 65,000 homes in 15 municipalities. The company builds, owns and operates its fiber-optic networks to provide amazingly fast Internet connections to its customers. For more information on the company, visit GreenlightNetworks.com or find it on Facebook.com/GreenlightNetworks, and @GreenlightFiber on Twitter.
About West Side Community Services
Founded in 1978, West Side Community Services serves west side residents with education, prevention and recreation programs and services. We pride ourselves in being a safe space to play, learn and grow for West Side youth and families and many of our participants have been part of our “West Side Family”forFamily “for generations. The West Side is growing and changing rapidly. Nestled in the heart of one of America’s most diverse neighborhoods, we work hard to ensure we remain engaged, responsive and relevant so we can celebrate and support the strengths of our entire community for generations to come. For more information on West Side Community Services, visit http://wscsbuffalo.org/.