If you’ve been incarcerated for a long time, get started on this page with computer and phone info.
You can get free classes on how to use computers through your local public library. The Community Technology Center at the Denver Public Library at 10 West 14th Avenue is a good example. The class schedule changes every month, so you will need to call, check the website, or drop by. They want to help—you will be welcome! The phone number is 720-865-1706. If you are a beginner and know nothing about computers, ask about classes that will help from square one.
Be sure to check out the free classes at your local library. To find the closest library, google the name of your town and public library to find its website. A schedule of classes will be on the website. You can also call the library and ask. See the Tutorial section if you're not sure how to do a google search.
The Gateway Program at Red Rocks Community College provides free computers for people who need them. You don't have to be a student or in the Gateway Program. Call 303.914.6542 for more information.
PCs for People is a nonprofit organization that offers very low cost laptop and desktop computers. To be eligible, you must be low income, which is less than $23,540 for one person. Bring a phone ID and proof of eligibility, which could be a tax statement from the last year, or a letter from the county stating the benefits you receive. The pay stubs and letter from the county must be dated within the past six months. Laptops are currently $50-$150 and desktops are $30-$125. Be sure to ask about their low cost internet program that costs about $13 a month for a hot spot. Located at 1548 W. Alameda Ave, Unit C, Denver, CO 80223. Phone number is 720-278-7725. Hours are Monday - Friday, 10 am - 5:30 pm. Click below to visit the PCs for People.
Cell phone plans can be expensive. That's why we recommend you get a prepaid cell phone. These have an average cost of $40-50 per month for minutes, texting, and data. Shop around for the best price and deal. Some King Soopers stores have a Mobile Market kiosk, and Walmart carries several versions. Brands with decent deals include Virgin Mobile, Cricket, Metro PCS, Straight Talk, and Boost Mobile.
Phones come in two types: simple flip phones that let you call and text, and smart phones, which include the internet and email. Shop around for the best data deal if you get a smart phone. If you're not sure how to use a smart phone, you can search on youtube.com, a website that hosts thousands of videos ranging from pet tricks to algebra.
We found a helpful video on how to use a smartphone on youtube. This type of smartphone uses the Android platform, which is the most popular operating system for smartphones. (The other most popular platform is used by the iphone, which is more expensive.) Click below to learn about the Android system.
You may have heard of free phones that come with several hundred free mobile minutes and texts a month. These phones are provided through a government program called Lifeline Assistance. People qualify for these phones based on how much they earn or whether they receive certain state programs such as TANF. (Sometimes these phones are called Obama phones.)
The program is run by private companies in Colorado. They include Budget Mobile, Assurance Wireless, Cricket, CenturyLink Qwest, and Q Link Wireless. You can apply for a phone online, or you can apply for one in person. Watch for their kiosk-like tents set up in popular places such as Colfax and Lincoln in Denver. To learn more, click below.