BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The digital divide has only become more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with much of the world now online.

Low-income students and families have struggled with access to the internet, but it’s also a big problem for seniors.

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For some Baltimore seniors, getting the essentials like groceries or social security has never been more difficult. Many now have to get just about everything online.

Some people, like Rennard Rice, aren’t familiar with technology, but thanks to St. Mary’s Outreach in Hampden, many are now getting a helping hand in the digital world.

“They helped me a great deal navigate through a lot of things that I had no idea about,” Rice said.

The organization, dedicated to helping older adults, has been teaching them to use computers and smartphones which can be confusing for them.

“Where you clicked on something last time, it has moved, and that be difficult to process for older folks because they grew up with paper, they didn’t grow up with computers,” Fred Gorman, St. Mary’s Outreach Center case manager, said.

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While there’s very little face-to-face teaching happening because of the risk of COVID-19 infection, St. Mary’s is still very busy.

The group will enter information online for them to get benefits and even the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I can help them by being the computer interface so they can get their inoculation,” Gorman said.

Rice said he’s now more familiar with the computer and helping other seniors so they aren’t at a disadvantage during a time when we’re all so reliant on technology.

“I’ve learned a lot and I can do a lot for myself now thanks to this St. Mary’s Outreach Program,” Rice said.

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If you or a loved one would like to get digital help from St. Mary’s Outreach Cener, call 410-366-3106.

Stetson Miller