We are excited to announce our 6th and final 2022 Spring Grant Recipient!
Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, More Than a Phone is receiving a $10,000 grant towards their 40 Phones for Survivors of Domestic Violence Program in Fishers, IN!
Initiative Description: The mission of More Than A Phone is to partner with domestic violence programs to provide safe and secure smartphones with 4 months of wireless data service to survivors of domestic violence.
The More Than A Phone program addresses the unmet need of safe communication for the survivor of domestic violence during the transition period from the abuser. Many times when a survivor comes to a domestic violence program for support and safety their smartphones are connected to the person they are fleeing from, this situation requires the survivor to either abandon their phone or risk being tracked by their abuser. Our program allows the survivor to receive a safe and secure smartphone that cannot be tracked by the abuser. This is made possible through the relationship with the More Than A Phone program and New Directions of Decatur County. A box of 40 smartphones with 4 months of data are given to the participating DV Program for distribution as part of the safety plan. The DV Program advocate will assess if a new phone is necessary for the survivor to be successful in their safety plan. If a new phone is necessary the DV advocate will activate the phone for the survivor, the survivor’s name or identity is never used in the activation. The survivor also receives 4 months of unlimited talk, text and internet that allows the survivor to apply for jobs, communicate with service organizations, communicate with family, look for new safe housing. This phone becomes an intricate tool in the survivor’s safety plan moving forward. Once a DV Program has given the survivor a phone and data package, it is theirs to keep at no cost to the program or the survivor. TCC provides technical support for the survivor in case they experience any challenges with the phone. The DV Program is responsible for keeping the phones in a secure place before activation and reports to More Than A Phone if there are any issues with the phones received. The DV program provides an annual report of phones activated and can request a new box of 40 phones annually.
We have found that our program has had a dramatic effect on the domestic violence programs that participate as well as the clients they serve. By providing domestic violence programs with smartphones and data service to distribute to survivors they increase the connectivity between survivor and the program. Because these items are provided at no cost to the domestic violence program it allows the program to provide expanded services with no extra expense. For the survivors of domestic violence we have found these smartphones have been the key to their success. Due to the fact that many times when a survivor comes to a domestic violence program for support and safety their smartphones are connected to the person they are fleeing from, this situation requires the survivor to either abandon their phone or risk being tracked by their abuser. By giving the survivor a new smartphone that can not be traced by their abuser the survivor is given a lifeline to start their journey to freedom without fear of being tracked. The effect this tool has on the community can be felt by the survivor’s ability to stay connected to work, to children’s schools and to service providers.
The expected outcome is that 40 survivors of domestic violence will receive smartphones and 4 months of data service to execute a successful safety plan.
Initiative Sustainability: All overhead expenses for the organization are underwritten by Round Room Gives, a for-profit wireless company in Fishers IN Round Room leverages their relationships to secure the donation of smartphones, chargers and iPads that are given to the Domestic Violence Programs. The cost of data service is underwritten by fundraisers and grant funders. The current sustainability model has allowed More Than A Phone to grow from 5 program partners to 71 program partners in 5 years.