What is PowerOn?
PowerOn (formerly known as Connect4Life) is a first-of-it’s-kind program developed to put technology into the hands of one of the LGBT communities' most vulnerable populations. According to a landmark 2012 study and part of the LGBT Technology Institute’s Connect 4 Life research*, nearly 40% of America’s homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. This equates to over 650,000 LGBT youth on America’s streets at any given moment. These young people have often faced rejection by parents and families and abuse from their peers, leaving them without stable systems of support. When they seek help, they regularly encounter service providers who lack basic competency to care for their needs or provide them with an environment free from attacks on their identities. As a result, homeless LGBT youth experience higher rates of depression, abuse, and suicidality and are more likely to engage in risky social behaviors.
*LGBT Tech's Connect4Life program became PowerOn in June 2016.
Who is behind PowerOn?
PowerOn was founded and is run by four non-profits working together make the biggest impact. Straight But Not Narrow, human-I-T, LGBT Tech and The Trevor Project. By taking on different roles from - collecting old tech, recycling tech, program management, distribution, to providing lifesaving information, the PowerOn team is able to manage and continue to expand this first-of-its-kind program across the country.