News Release

Verizon Wireless Supports Sanctuary For Families, Providing Entrepreneurship Skills And Grants

Program Offers Domestic Abuse Survivors in New York Metro Area Concrete Tools to Achieve Small Business Goals

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May 3, 2012

Howard Waterman
Howard.Waterman@VerizonWireless.com
917-359-5505
http://Twitter.com/VZWHowie

Lisa Mueller
lmueller@SFFNY.ORG
212-349-6009 x274

NEW YORK, NY — Sanctuary for Families, New York State’s largest provider of direct services to domestic violence survivors and their children, a is launching VETI, the Verizon Entrepreneurship Training Initiative. This program helps Sanctuary clients achieve their dream of business ownership. The initiative will combine entrepreneurial workshops with computer training to help budding entrepreneurs launch and operate a small business. The program kicks off this Friday, May 4, 2012 at Sanctuary’s Career Services Training Center in New York City.

The program is funded by a $100,000 grant from Verizon, one of five such grants awarded to workforce development and domestic violence agencies across the state. In addition, Verizon will be providing direct financial support ranging from $500 to $5000, to select Sanctuary clients as they start new small businesses or expand existing ones.

“VETI offers empowerment through hands-on training and economic assistance, helping provide the basis for a secure future,” said Laurel W. Eisner, Executive Director of  Sanctuary for Families, “Financial independence and stability is critical for all survivors of domestic violence, and this program affords a unique opportunity for those with entrepreneurial dreams. This is a critical missing link in our workforce development programming, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Verizon on this exciting endeavor. .”

Clients participating in the program have submitted ideas for businesses ranging from catering to event planning, photography, e-commerce and hair salon management.

“Helping women become independent and take control of their economic futures is a natural outgrowth of Verizon’s ongoing HopeLine campaign, said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless, New York Metro Region. “We are committed to providing assistance and increased opportunities to women breaking free from the cycle of domestic abuse.  We hope to offer skills and help open doors for survivors to see some of their dreams come true.”

Program participants are asked to present a viable business idea, attend an orientation session and submit a one page application. If chosen, they must complete Phase I and Phase II of the VETI Curriculum. Phase I includes three full day sessions covering business basics such as taxes, regulations, marketing and communications, and e-commerce. Phase II offers an intensive Microsoft Outlook immersion class over four evening sessions. There is an optional small business technology training course for participants whose business ideas are technology-based.

Specific coursework will focus on credit, money, and financial instruments – key issues for any entrepreneur but also helpful for individuals trying to rebuild their credit standing in the community – and on public speaking and time management.  At the conclusion of the training period, individuals will present a business plan and be eligible to apply for a Verizon Domestic Violence Entrepreneurship Grant, up to $5,000, to receive start-up funding to help launch their new business.

 Verizon Wireless is committed to preventing and raising awareness about domestic violence through its community efforts. Through HopeLine, Verizon Wireless collects used cell phones to be recycled or sold and donates the proceeds in the form of cash grants and pre-paid wireless phones to advocacy groups for use by survivors. Verizon was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and has done so on behalf of survivors of domestic violence since January 1999 – first in New York and then across the U.S. Since 2001, HopeLine has collected more than 10 million phones, properly disposed of 1.7 million no-longer-used wireless phones, and kept more than 210 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 93.0 million retail customers, including 88.0 million retail postpaid customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Sanctuary for Families

Sanctuary for Families provides domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children with a range of comprehensive services. Annually, Sanctuary reaches over 11,000 domestic violence survivors and their children through direct services alone.  Our education and awareness-building initiatives connect with 15- 20,000 additional concerned community members each year, including local leaders, social service and legal professionals, law enforcement officials, potential victims, and many others. Sanctuary has 150 full-time and part-time staff working out of nine office and shelter locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Through active recruitment of bilingual and bicultural staff, Sanctuary is able to offer services to clients in 33 languages; more languages are represented by our hundreds of pro bono attorneys and volunteers.

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