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Mavs Foundation Gifts Renovated Computer Lab to Homeless Shelter

By Dorothy J. GentrySports EditorPhotos courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks  Long before the world as we all know it came to a screeching halt and families began relying heavily on technology to work and go to school, the Arlington Life Shelter and the Dallas Mavericks were working on a plan. This plan—years in the making—would combine the mission’s of both organizations to serve the less fortunate while providing rays of light. It would provide a technological boost to the homeless shelter that over 25,000 homeless men, women and children have sought refuge at over the past 33 years. That plan was recently made public as the Mavs Foundation virtually unveiled a new state-of-the-art computer lab at Arlington Life Shelter. The revamped Mavs Computer Lab provides residents with technology to work and improve on career and life skills during their stay. Residents now have access to brand-new desktop computers, headphones, desks, chairs and other digital gadgets to use in working on their resumes and other tools that can help with potential career and overall life goals. “This has been a long time coming. We’ve been working on this for a few years now,” said Katie Edwards, Dallas Mavericks senior vice president of External Affairs and president of Mavs Foundation. “We were excited to get in there and bring some life from the Mavericks to this  computer lab. We do it not only to provide tools and technology so needed for them to be career ready, but it’s also our way of providing hope for these individuals.” The Foundation built a mural on the wall that reads: “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope in tomorrow.” “This is important for us. We want people to know they are cared about, they are seen and there are people who want to support them in their journey on their paths  to self-sufficiency,” Edward said. “It was a wonderful project to us and a way to continue to give back during this time.” Jim Reeder, executive director at Arlington Life Shelter, said the renovated computer lab as well as renovations to the entire Shelter are important specifically during these times of the pandemic when families are grappling with day-to-day  survival. “There could be even more homelessness (in the coming months). Evictions tend to be released and begin to happen. If jobs don’t come back, there could be a bigger demand soon,” he said of his center’s services which began in 1987 with a goal of getting people back to self-sufficiency. “When you look at residents we’ve had over the years, they are really interested in getting back to managing their lives,” Reeder said. “We did the addition because  we were having difficulty serving families. The shift in demographics for homelessness has become more and more families and kids. We really needed to support more families and at same time be able to do more programming.” Along with the updated technology and furniture, the computer lab will include sanitation stations, supplies and other personal protective equipment (PPE) “to make sure everyone is safe during this time, further serve th

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