NEW YORK, NY — Queens resident Yolanda B. Jiménez, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, has been named a Verizon Wireless HopeLine® Hero in recognition of her many years of tireless work on behalf of New York City families scarred by domestic abuse.
Jiménez, a devoted public servant for more than 25 years and Commissioner since January 2002, has developed and implemented comprehensive policies and programs that have helped reduce domestic violence, hold batterers accountable and increase public awareness of domestic violence throughout New York City. She has been an ardent supporter of the Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program which has donated more than $500,000 in grants, wireless phones and service to New York City non-profit organzations working to end domestic violence since 1995.
Verizon Wireless was the first wireless carrier in the nation to collect and recycle old cell phones and has done so since January 1999, first in New York and then across the U.S. Phones collected are refurbished, recycled or sold and the proceeds are donated to domestic violence shelters and prevention programs or used to purchase wireless phones and service for survivors. Phones that cannot be refurbished are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Nationally, the HopeLine program has collected more than 5.3 million wireless phones, and given more than $5.6 million in cash grants and nearly 80,000 phones with airtime to domestic violence prevention organizations.
Over the last six years, Jiménez has worked with numerous City agencies and non-profit organizations to develop initiatives and policy changes in the health, social service and public safety sectors that have helped improve overall service delivery to domestic violence survivors throughout the five boroughs of New York City. During that time Jimenez and her team have seen a 17 percent reduction in major domestic violence felony crimes in the City while family-related homicides have decreased 32 percent.
Most recently, Jimenez spearheaded efforts to launch the Family Justice Center (FJC) initiative– a one-stop comprehensive service center for domestic violence survivors and their children that opened its first center in Brooklyn in July 2005 serving over 13,000 adults and their children to date; and its second one in Kew Gardens, Queens in July 2008. A third center will open in the Bronx. Verizon Wireless is one of the founding corporate supporters of both the Bronx and Queens Family Justice Centers.
Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, Jiménez spent 14 years at the NYC Police Department where she held numerous positions including Assistant Commissioner for Programs and Policies. During her tenure, she initiated crime prevention policies and fostered positive relations between the police and the NYC communities they serve.
“The HopeLine phone recycling program is effective because of individuals like Commissioner Jiménez who are dedicated to domestic violence education and prevention,.” said Pat Devlin, president of Verizon Wireless’ New York Metro Region. “We created the HopeLine Hero Award to express our gratitude to dedicated people like Commissioner Jiménez, who have gone above and beyond to support the program and the domestic violence survivors it benefits."
In addition to a successful phone recycling program and funding for non-profit domestic violence prevention organizations, Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine program includes free voice mailboxes for survivors, community and corporate awareness initiatives, and a bilingual “Invest in Yourself” program designed to help survivors re-enter the workforce.
HopeLine phone donations are accepted at all Verizon Wireless Communications Stores in New York City and across the nation. For store locations and additional information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/hopeline.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 68.7 million customers. The largest U.S. wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, with 70,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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.