Local Domestic Violence Shelters Adding New Service for Victims

Local Domestic Violence Shelters Adding New Service for Victims

Bell Atlantic Mobile Expands Free "HopeLine" Program
To Five Area Shelters

October 27, 1998


Patricia L. Quolke,
(412) 563-0367

Maggie Aloia Rohr,
(908) 306-7757

PITTSBURGH, PA -- A new link to potential employers, housing and
social services is now available to women and their children who seek
housing and assistance at area domestic violence shelters. Bell Atlantic
Mobile has expanded its HopeLine® program to provide free voice mail to
residents at the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center, WOMANSPLACE of
Western Pennsylvania, Crisis Center North, Washington Women's Center
and the Volunteers Against Abuse Center of Butler County, Inc.

Bell Atlantic Mobile's HopeLine program was designed to assist
disadvantaged or displaced individuals and families to aid them in seeking
employment, places to live and access to social services. It was launched in
Pittsburgh in 1993 with the Salvation Army to provide service for residents
of their homeless shelters. Last year, Bell Atlantic Mobile expanded
HopeLine to provide service for the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater

HopeLine enables the shelters to help residents interact with prospective
employers during job searches or prospective landlords when looking for a
home or lodging, as well as giving them phone contact with family
members and other social service agencies. By having a phone number
answered with a personalized voice mail message, the women will have a
way to keep in touch with parents, other family members, or medical
personnel with whom they need to maintain contact. The program also
allows the women who are seeking employment or housing to avoid the
misperceptions associated with living at a shelter.

"HopeLine answers a specific need at our shelter," explained Lynn Snead,
executive director of the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center. "We were
planning to add an extra phone line so residents could receive messages
about employment without the call going through the shelter's regular
recorded message. HopeLine provides us that service at no cost."

Roger Tang, regional vice president for Bell Atlantic Mobile in Pittsburgh,
said providing HopeLine is an integral part of the company's overall
commitment to applying wireless technology solutions to help victims of
domestic violence.

"HopeLine has been tremendously successful at homeless and domestic
violence shelters in all of our regions," Tang explained. "By expanding
HopeLine to these additional shelters, our technologies can benefit the
women who need a link like this to help them through a time of emergency
or crisis."

No special equipment is required to use HopeLine, which can be accessed
through the organization's regular telephone system or any landline or
cellular phone.

Earlier this month, Bell Atlantic Mobile introduced a toll- and airtime-free
link to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, allowing users to simply
dial *HOPE from their cellular phones to reach the hotline. Since 1995,
Bell Atlantic Mobile has focused its philanthropic efforts, under the
"Wireless at Work..." community service program, on assisting victims of
domestic violence by utilizing the company's resources and technology in
a variety of ways. In addition to its HopeLine program, these include
donations of pre-programmed wireless 9-1-1 phones to police departments
and district attorneys' offices to distribute to women at risk. This year the
company earmarked $100,000 to help victims by providing wireless
technology solutions.

Editor's Note: Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest
wireless network in the East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the
largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data
and paging. The company's Pittsburgh Regional Headquarters are in
Thorn Hill Industrial Park in Marshall Township.