ATLANTA -- For hundreds of first time home buyers in metro Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity has given them a new start.
They begin by owning their own home, then learn how to maintain it and keep careful track of money and budgets.
But Habitat is going a step further by taking the new homeowners into the age of technology---how to use a PC--then own it.
For Atlanta firefighter Austin Joseph, home ownership and using a computer has taken his life to a new level.
"It allowed me to be a homeowner," Joseph said. "I bought my house at 25 years old. When Habitat sells you a home, they are not just selling you the house and say that's it, see you later, they say we are going to look after you through the whole process and we are going to look after you after the process."
A major part of that is taking homeowners into the computer age.
Habitat gives homeowners a laptop, and requires them to attend a four-hour class to learn all the basic programs -- including how to keep budgets and records.
Since 2008, Habitat says it's given away more than 400 personal computers.
"Today's world is technology driven and in order to find a job, in order for kids to do homework, in order to all kinds of things, you have to be connected to the internet and you have to have a computer," said Melissa Klein of Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta.
"You go to college and you have to pay almost $1,000 to learn that stuff and Habitat offers that stuff," Joseph said.
"I was interested in using the computer on a personal level at home to do my banking, my bills, just keeping up with my finances," said Sunday Douglas-Nolley, a new Habitat homeowner and a student in the Habitat computer class.
But continuing to give homeowners laptops requires a helping hand.
North Point Ministries through its "Be Rich" campaign, has joined the effort. In addition, 11Alive's Help Desk is working with both Habitat and North Point to secure needed laptops.