On Tuesday, March 3, 180 Turning Lives Around, a private non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in the community, hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the largest shelter for victims of domestic violence in the state of New Jersey.
With hardhats and shovels, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, 180 Turning Lives Around Executive Director Anna Diaz-White, elected officials and major donors, including Verizon Wireless, gathered at the headquarters of New Jersey Natural Gas to celebrate the new facility. As part of the ceremony, 180 Turning Lives Around received a $100,000 grant from HopeLine from Verizon.
“Over the past five years, we have had to turn away more than 400 women and their children who needed our help. We simply don’t have the room,” said Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director of 180. “By doubling our capacity, we are in a position to help so many more people in our community.”
The new facility is designed with 12 individual family bedroom suites with private baths, a communal kitchen, dining and living areas, a teen “rec” room, creative art studios, counselling rooms, and a computer/library resource room. A children’s play area and serenity garden will also be a part of the shelter.
The new shelter will serve victims of domestic violence in Monmouth County, which continues to rank third in the state for reported domestic violence incidents. In New Jersey, an act of domestic violence happens every 7.29 minutes, and is the largest cause of homelessness in the United States.
“Verizon Wireless is proud to support the construction of the new safe house, and in turn, continue its support of the great work of 180 Turning Lives Around which serves so many families in Monmouth County,” said Andrew Testa, Public Relations Manager, Verizon Wireless New York Metro. “This partnership will help us continue our efforts to end domestic violence by supporting local agencies and ensuring that domestic violence survivors in the New York Metro region are getting the support and safe housing that they need.”
HopeLine from Verizon connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, and funds organizations nationwide while protecting the environment. Verizon is committed to helping the men, women and children affected by domestic violence by collecting no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories and turning them into support for domestic violence organizations. Through HopeLine, Verizon has donated thousands of phones and awarded millions of dollars in cash grants to partner agencies.