By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s new Digital Literacy Alliance awarded its first grants, last week, and eight projects received a total of nearly $200,000.

City agencies are working with universities and communications companies to bring people and communities that have been left behind– either because of age or income or disability– into the digital age.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced grants of 10,000 to 25,000 to organizations that serve seniors, children, homeless people, English language learners, saying reaching those groups is essential to the city’s future.

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“The work that we do in technology and innovation is really going to be the solution to our poverty problem in Philadelphia,” he said. “Unless our young folks and old folks and middle-aged folks get involved in the technology space, in the innovation space, we’re not going to move the needle.”

Christine Stubman said, “it’s quite a big deal for us.”

She says the shelter where she works will be training homeless mothers while helping them look for jobs and housing.

“This is a pretty large grant for this so I think we’re going to implement some pretty strong programming, and ultimately our goal is to implement intergenerational poverty and this is one of the steps toward reaching that goal,” Stubman said.