Additional Homeless and Victims of Domestic Violence to Receive Help From Bell Atlantic Mobile
Wireless Phones and Voice Mail Boxes Now Available To More
Social Service Organizations As Company Expands Donation
July 12, 1999
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Bell Atlantic Mobile is looking for local social
service organizations to participate in programs that use wireless
technology to help those most in need -- victims of domestic violence and
the homeless. More than 40 organizations throughout North Carolina,
South Carolina and Georgia are already involved in the company's
HopeLine®, the Domestic Violence Initiative and Phone Recycling
Since 1995, Bell Atlantic Mobile has helped thousands of individuals and
invested more than $124,000 into its "Wireless at Work..."
program in the Southeast region. The company's HopeLine program
continues to help hundreds of homeless individuals through free access to
wireless voice mail boxes, providing a better way to search for jobs,
housing, and other services. Almost 600 voice mail boxes have been
donated in the last three years.
"Several years ago we recognized that for homeless men and women
to get back on their feet, they needed a direct connection, one which
sidesteps the stigma of being homeless and/or phoneless," said Jerry
Fountain, vice president, Bell Atlantic Mobile's Southeast Region.
"HopeLine uses wireless voice mail technology to offer a bridge for
self-improvement, helping people obtain jobs, find new homes, even
receive medical attention."
The company's Domestic Violence Initiative provides wireless phones and
voice mail to domestic violence shelters enabling battered women to
quickly dial 9-1-1 and other emergency numbers to call for police or
medical attention 24 hours a day. Twenty organizations in the
Southeast region are now involved in the program, and more than 150
phones have been donated in the
past three years in the region.
"We hope the wireless phones donated through our Domestic
Violence Initiative will never have to be used to report an emergency, but
if a domestic violence victim feels threatened, she can rest assured help
will be on the way," Fountain said. "As a corporate leader in
the fight against domestic violence, we're trying to raise public awareness
about this serious issue and offer this service to organizations that will
help victims break the cycle of domestic violence and rebuild their
Trena Palmer, of the Salvation Army Women's Shelter in Charlotte, N.C.,
knows first-hand what HopeLine means to homeless men and women.
"With the use of voice mail boxes, clients at our shelter have been
able to access resources with greater ease and significantly less
stigma," Palmer said. "HopeLine provides the personal,
confidential communication these individuals need to get their lives back
on track. It's been extremely successful for our clients."
Even with protective orders and bond conditions, victims of domestic
violence are at risk because abusers can and tend to disable their victims'
landline phones, said Terry Looper, executive director of the Shelter Home
of Caldwell County.
"Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless phones have provided a portable
lifeline to residents of the shelter," Looper said. "One mother
at the shelter desperately wanted to return to work, but feared for her
safety because her batterer, who had previously fractured both her arms,
routinely violated the court's protection order. This woman was eventually
able to find employment and now, equipped with her Bell Atlantic Mobile
wireless phone, reports to work with a sense of security."
"Wireless at Work..." was developed to offer in-kind creative
solutions through the company's products and services for society's most
For more information on any " Wireless at Work..."
programs, organizations may contact program coordinator Brian Chandler
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets
devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in
Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.4 million customers and 8,000
employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in
the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community
service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and
communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell
Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one
of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic
operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe
and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit:
www.bam.com; on global operations visit: