Verizon Partners with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark to Educate Residents about Communications Lifeline

Verizon has been pleased to be a lead corporate donor to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark in recent years to help the non-profit fulfill its mission in northern New Jersey.

That relationship has greatly expanded this year, with Habitat becoming a partner in expanding Verizon’s Communications Lifeline program in the three counties the non-profit serves: Essex, Union and Hudson counties.

That’s because of Habitat’s quickly-growing Neighborhood Revitalization Program, launched in 2015 to identify community needs beyond construction. Rather than just building houses, Habitat staff is now fanning out across communities to identify problems and leveraging the non-profit’s partners to achieve sustainable solutions.

As part of the program with Verizon, Habitat staff will be distributing information about Communications Lifeline, a government assistance program that offers telephone or broadband discounts to qualified low-income customers.

“One of our important roles at Verizon is to reach deeply into the community and inform residents about the Lifeline program,” said Samuel Delgado, Vice President of Verizon New Jersey. “Through our ongoing relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark, and following its growing Neighborhood Revitalization Program, we quickly learned this could be a tremendous partnership to help spread the word.”

Jeffrey J. Farrell, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark, said his team is regularly knocking on doors to interact with residents and is eager to help advertise the discounted wireline or wireless service to the many residents they meet.

A significant focus at the moment is the West Ward of Newark, where the non-profit received a $100,000 planning grant from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation to work with residents on ways to improve the community. The planning grant will fund the development of a strategy, which could prompt a second round of funding for implementation.

Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program has other important partners, such as The American Red Cross of New Jersey. Habitat staff canvasses neighborhoods in Newark with high numbers of home fires to distribute flyers on fire safety and install free smoke alarms. To date, Habitat has helped install more than 192 smoke detectors in 55 Newark homes.

Habitat has also been involved in “Back to School” backpack giveaways throughout Newark, a college fair and a growing partnership with PSEG to identify and repair broken street lights.

“Verizon is grateful to have this important relationship with Habitat for Humanity,” Delgado said. “We look forward to receiving many more applications for our Communications Lifeline product and hope many more of our customers take advantage of this important program.”

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