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St. Vincent de Paul Brings an Open Door Computer Lab to Skid Row

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010, at 09:23AM
ComputerRow_ Ed Fuentes

Councilwoman Jan Perry and Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles’ Executive Director David Fields cut the ribbon at the Cardinal Manning Center's new computer lab as Ursula Hyman of Latham & Watkins, actress Pauley Perrette, Deputy Mayo

The replacement of a makeshift collection of obsolete computers with ten new ones may not seem like a big deal, but it could be for those without a way to contact family, improve literacy or search for jobs and resources.

The new lab, located inside the St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles' Cardinal Manning Center at 231 Winston, is touted as the first to be open to all Skid Row residents.

Learning Center Deputy Director Justin Mammen led a ribbon cutting for the facility on Wednesday, explaining that the lab will offer scheduled drop-in times and classes from Microsoft's Digital Literacy Program. Volunteers or staff members will be available for those needing assistance.

“It’s a way to give a fish, as well as teach people how to fish,” said actress Pauley Perrette, who appears on NCIS and is active with St. Vincent. Perrette, who was a recent St Vincent honoree for her philanthropic work, also noted the potential for the computers to be used to tell the story of Skid Row.

Already, there is talk about starting a blog based from the center, according to St. Vincent’s Brian Pickering.

After the ribbon-cutting, the shelter's priest-in-residence carefully carefully blessed the new computers, careful to send the holy water away from the monitors.

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