Two-thirds of Americans surveyed say they have never had a conversation about domestic violence among their friends, and only 15 percent consider the issue a problem among their friends, according to the “NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults” study. This comes despite the fact that 22 percent of people said they were victims of domestic abuse themselves, and 60 percent reported personally knowing a victim.
Safe Parking program created by students aids homeless community
|University of San Diego student Teresa Smith at a Safe Parking program location. Smith was awarded a $10,000 Verizon Green Award which funds green solutions that support San Diego's homeless population.|
In San Diego there are more than 9,000 homeless people, according to Voices of San Diego. While many receive assistance from shelters throughout the region, some, because of fear or embarrassment, choose not to seek help through traditional means and end up living out of their cars.
University of San Diego student Nancy Vera saw the problem and worked with Dreams for Change to find another solution.
“The traditional shelter system would scare them,” said Teresa Smith, CEO of Dreams for Change. “They would say, ‘That’s not me. There’s no way I want to be
in that environment.’”
Vera and Smith, a fellow University of San Diego student, developed the Safe Parking Program. They convinced a pair of churches and a youth center to rent their parking lots to the non-profit to provide homeless families and individuals living in their cars a safe place to park at night.
On the streets, homeless individuals are easy targets for thieves and face stiff fines if authorities catch them sleeping overnight in their vehicles.
The Dreams for Change program provides food, toilet facilities and caseworkers at each location. They also have access to computers connected online via Jetpacks to teach computer skills and access online job-finding resources.
Vera and Smith’s new service model is also green. It uses an existing resource – underutilized parking lots – and manages all of its files online, paper-free.
For the innovative work, Smith’s non-profit organization received a $10,000 Verizon Green Award, designed to promote sustainability. “This is a big help,” she said. “We’re not a typical program, so we don’t qualify for many of the typical shelter grants, even though we do everything a typical shelter with a roof does.”
The Safe Parking Program provides services to approximately 100 people at any one time. Smith says the award will help her expand the program’s reach to make the community a better place.
Everyone knows the benefits of a diet high in fiber. It turns out that the same holds true for communications services.
Copper has served the communications needs of the country well for more than 100 years, but in many instances the better option today is fiber optics. Fiber is more reliable than copper, especially during inclement weather. This means customers enjoy better voice quality, and customer calls for repairs drop by orders of magnitude. In 2013 alone, Verizon eliminated 600,000 repair dispatches as a direct result of migrating customers served by copper over to fiber. That means more satisfied customers and more than $100 million in savings for Verizon – a win-win-win for Verizon and most of all, its customers.
When something does interrupt service, like downed lines from storms, service can be restored more quickly.
Verizon is well on its way to surpassing its goal of migrating 300,000 residential customers from copper to fiber in 2013. In fact, the company now has more customers connected via fiber (6.2 million) than copper (6.1 million). So far, Verizon has migrated 500,000 lines overall since the migration initiative began last year.
Upgrading from copper to fiber benefits everyone. Fiber optics is a technology platform that can easily evolve with a community and customer’s technology needs many decades into the future.
It took college students only a matter of days to transform a former military airstrip in Southern California into a mini neighborhood of 19 houses. Their task was to build operational, full-scale homes that would compete head-to-head for energy efficiency over eight days. Each solar-powered residence was judged on energy efficiency, architectural design, engineering and market appeal.
The October event was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s biannual Solar Decathlon . University teams from around the world participated in the challenge and converged at Irvine, Calif.’s Great Park, the former home of the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
Verizon Wireless was also on hand at the competition to demonstrate how wireless technology can be used in today’s homes as part of an energy solution. The Belkin WeMo Light Switch , for example, allows users to control lights and set them on timers using Android or iOS mobile devices.
And what Belkin is doing for light switches, Nest is doing for thermostats. The Nest Learning Thermostat has a user-friendly interface and can be controlled from a mobile app.
At 980 square feet, the University of Southern California’s (USC) fluxHome was the biggest pad on the block. The design was less than half the size of the average new U.S. home. However, a sleek interior with hardwood floors and prominent skylight still provided an open, modern vibe. The fluxHome included energy-maximizing features like a solar chimney for natural ventilation and light sensors that displayed the cash value of the energy being used.
“I am truly stunned at the innovation coming from these college students,” said Verizon representative Shari West. “But it will be a while before these groundbreaking designs become more commonplace. In the meantime, smart, simple and inexpensive technologies can have a big impact on cutting energy use.”