Twitter’s ‘Neighbornest’ teaches tech to homeless

NeighborNest, a new community space staffed with Twitter employees, opened Wednesday in San Francisco’s Central Market neighborhood to help homeless and low-income residents access technology, education and training.

Twitter employees will staff NeighborNest and reach out to members of the Tenderloin community via a multi-year partnership with Compass Family Services, according to Caroline Barlerin, head of community outreach and philanthropy for the company.

Barlerin said Twitter echoes Compass’ goal of lifting San Francisco families out of homelessness and poverty through a variety of programs, including arming them with the digital skills necessary to succeed in the modern world.

She said those skills are often required to succeed in homework assignments, basic research and job searches.

The collaboration will add on to a list of programs and services Compass already provides to the community, such as emergency family shelter, counseling, transitional housing, rent subsidies, and mental health services, among others.

The new Twitter-funded family-friendly computer and learning center is located inside Fox Plaza, just across the street from the company’s headquarters. The center is comprised of technology-focused rooms, including a living room, classroom, meeting room, and study.

“There will be computers and Internet access, with educational programming for kids and job support and skill training for parents,” Barlerin wrote on the company’s blog.

While Compass is Twitter’s first anchor partner, additional partners are expected, according to Barlerin.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Twitter chief executive officer Dick Costolo celebrated the NeighborNest opening at 95 Hayes St. Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.