Cocoon House Upgrades – Improve the Lives of Homeless Teens
Cocoon House, in conjunction with RootProject, is raising funds to upgrade their facilities, where homeless youths in Washington State aged 12- 24 are given a home. Cocoon House empowers young people, families, and the community to break the cycle of homelessness through outreach, housing, and prevention.
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Cocoon House serves 2,500 homeless or at-risk young people, ages 12-24, each year in Snohomish County.
Our mission is to empower young people, families and the community to break the cycle of homelessness through outreach, housing and prevention. Cocoon House is the only agency in Snohomish County that works exclusively with this age group. We operate two long-term living facilities in Everett and Arlington, two emergency shelters in Everett, Washington State and Monroe, Washington State, and an Outreach program in north Everett. Our residents and those who use our drop-in outreach center are supported by a staff of 74 full time and 19 part time staff.
Cocoon House’s Everett long-term housing facility is located in an old building in central Everett without existing ports or cabling. We have had to rely on many small unmanaged switches to give network and internet access to staff and for Cocoon House residents. Many switches are now past their life span and are starting to fail. This year network failure led to interruption of work for two weeks. The existing technology infrastructure is insufficient and the growing needs of both staff and young people is outpacing our technology capacity.
Like most young people, Cocoon House residents access technology resources for a variety of reasons. However, they may be coming to Cocoon House from circumstances where these resources were not available. From the fun and relaxation that comes with video games to school and job training, young people are constantly using technology at Cocoon House. Residents attending school are in need of reliable technology to maintain classwork and pursue a diploma or GED. Cocoon House’s Intersectional Skill Building Program is a necessary element to developing these young people into adulthood and free from homelessness, poverty and lack of hope. This program develops, hones and maintains skills necessary for young people to become stable, productive community members. The skills taught through this program range from composing a resume, writing cover letters, to job interview techniques.
The Intersectional Skill Building Program is an 18-week series designed to enrich the lives of residents and ensure their long-term success. This program covers a broad range of personal growth, physical and health topics as well as growth necessary to meet education, employment and independent living skills.
Last week Evan, a resident of the long-term facility in Everett, was hired for his first job. His work with his Advocate and Case Manager prepared him from the initial composing of the cover letter and resume to the interview to his getting hired. He came into the break room the other day and said that it was an “important day” because it was the day he received his first paycheck.
Evan’s story is inspiring but we are already seeing degraded performance effects like inconsistent application of computer policies, dropped network connections and network slowness. If we can replace all of our old switches, we will be in better position to get work done, give young people access to technology to get their homework done and apply for jobs…as well as have a little fun with video games.
Cocoon House locations were not designed with modern technology needs in mind. Our Maternity Group Home in Arlington is in need of a new server so the moms have the same access as the residents in other locations and the staff has access to the Cocoon House network server.
We will measure success by getting a Distributed File System in Windows on the Cocoon House network. The communication between sites is not reliable enough because of the failing switches so we cannot implement redundancy in the case of a catastrophic event like a server crash.
The crowdfunding goal for our project will be $5,200. The monies raised will go to the following:
Proposed switch model for offices: TP-LINK TL-SG108PE
Total number of switches needed: 23
Total cost: $1,471.11
Proposed switch model for network backbone: TP-LINK T2600G-28TS
Cost per unit: $168.99
Total number of switches needed: 6
Total cost: $1,013.94
Cost of all switches with estimated tax and free shipping: $2,721.13.
We have a quote from 501 Commons for configuration, removal of new switches, testing and driving to and transportation costs of $125/hour: $2,000
Total Budget: $4,721.85