Hundreds Of Homeless And Domestic Violence Victims Find Jobs And Housing
Via Wireless Communications
Bell Atlantic Mobil's HopeLine Program Provides Needed Aid
August 19, 1997
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile:
BEDMINSTER, NJ - Amid the heated debate surrounding cutbacks in
and federal shelter programs, one company stands apart in its efforts
to support the people most affected.
Bell Atlantic Mobile announced today that its HopeLine charitable
initiative has provided more than 4,400 individuals -- primarily
homeless and victims of domestic violence -- with free voice mail
service this year.
HopeLine gives individuals who do not have access to a personal phone
line a single point of contact for communicating with prospective
employers and landlords, child and health care providers and family
A survey Bell Atlantic Mobile recently conducted with nearly 40 social
service organizations revealed that this year more than 860 people
retained permanent living quarters and more than 600 secured
employment by using HopeLine. Another 175 used the service for
resolving health care issues.
"The challenge for our residents to restore some order in their
is formidable, and they can encounter roadblocks just about every step
of the way," stated Paul Freyder, a director for the Pittsburgh, PA,
Salvation Army. "With HopeLine, residents have a
professional-sounding voice mail service that enables them to receive
messages about job opportunities and permanent living quarters. And,
by shielding the caller from the knowledge that they are calling a
shelter, HopeLine helps put our residents on even ground with other
job and lease candidates. It has truly been a life-saver."
How HopeLine Works
Bell Atlantic Mobile issues participating social service organizations
several local exchange phone numbers which correspond to voice mail
boxes. The organization then issues the numbers to users who can
disseminate it to people with whom they need to communicate. A
designated case manager at the organization checks the voice mail box
regularly. HopeLine voice mail boxes do not require installation of
special equipment and can be accessed by any landline or wireless
According to Karla Howard, director of Resident Services for Uptown
Shelter in Charlotte, NC, HopeLine decreases the residents' reliance
on pay phones. "Unfortunately, the phones would often go unanswered
during the day or be occupied for extended periods of time, causing
residents to miss important calls. HopeLine has helped restore their
independence, and as a result, has become an integral part of our
According to Dennis Strigl, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic Mobile,
HopeLine was first introduced in 1993 and geared toward the homeless
population. "It quickly became apparent to us that the service was
also ideal for domestic violence victims and anyone else forced to
reside in a shelter due to circumstances beyond their control,"
commented. " As shelters continue to face cutbacks in funding at
state and federal levels, they will look to corporations not only for
funding, but for innovative solutions to their residents' problems.
With HopeLine, we are using our wireless network to provide these
individuals with the vital link they need to the community."
HopeLine is a part of Bell Atlantic Mobile's umbrella community
relations program, "Wireless at Work . . .", which provides the
communities the company serves with the means to improve safety,
security and emergency communications through wireless equipment and
"In recent years, Bell Atlantic Mobile has distinguished itself as
leading advocate of domestic violence awareness and reduction,"
Esta Soler, executive director of the Family Violence
Prevention Fund, a national organization based in San Francisco.
"At the Fund, we owe BAM a lot of gratitude for providing
women with a communications tool that can help them independently
and discreetly seek assistance. The company has also extended
its commitment by providing the Fund with financial support and
by spreading our domestic violence awareness message to its employees
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest
wireless service provider on the
East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company
owns and operates the most extensive network in the East, covering
111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets
offering a full range of wireless personal communications services,
including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell
Atlantic Mobile has 4.9 million customers and 7,000 employees in the
Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and, through a separate
subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company is the chief wireless
subsidiary of the new Bell Atlantic, formed through the merger of Bell
Atlantic and NYNEX corporations.