Urban Resource Institute (URI) provides life-saving, empowering social services for New Yorkers who are suffering and recovering from domestic violence. For more than 35 years, URI has been innovating and developing new programs to improve the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers, with a particular focus on survivors of domestic violence. We help individuals and families escape abuse; safely heal; and gain the resources needed to live healthy, independent lives. We also are the only organization in New York City and one of the few nationally that extends these services to pets.

  • 1980

    The Urban Resource Institute (URI) is founded in Brooklyn, NY as an affiliate of the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation (ARTC)

  • 1984

    URI begins its Domestic Violence Programs with the opening of the Urban Women’s Shelter (UWS), an emergency DV shelter located in Manhattan.

  • 1985

    URI establishes the Urban Center for the Developmentally Disabled (UCDD)—a transitional employment program for adult men and women with developmental disabilities.

  • 1987

    URI begins the Urban Transportation Project (UTP), a network of transportation services for adult men and women with disabilities. UTP ceased operations in 2010.

  • 1988

    URI founds the Marguerite T. Saunders Urban Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Services—an outpatient chemical dependency program.

  • 1990

    URI opens the doors of the Beny J. Primm Residence and Linden House, two Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) in Queens that provide permanent housing for adult men and women with developmental disabilities. URI changes the name of Urban Women’s Shelter to Urban Women’s Retreat (UWR), relocates and expands the program to 112 beds.

  • 1993

    URI’s Tier II transitional DV shelter, Urban Center for Change (UCC), opens in Brooklyn.

  • 1994

    URI creates the Human Services Division Evaluation and Research Unit to assist in the understanding of those factors that contribute to domestic violence. Operations ceased in May 2012.

  • 1998

    URI begins the Working Women’s Internship Network (WWIN), a program that establishes 8-week internships for women residing in URI’s shelters.

  • 2001

    Due to ongoing need, URI establishes its second emergency domestic violence shelter in Manhattan, Urban Women’s New Beginnings (UWNB) with 89 beds.

  • 2002

    URI doubles its capacity to provide emergency shelter to women and children fleeing domestic violence, by opening its third emergency DV shelter with 120 beds, Urban Women’s Safe Haven (UWSH) located in Brooklyn. UCC increases its capacity to 27 families or 117 beds.

  • 2005

    URI establishes Ferndale House in Queens, an Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA) for adults with developmental disabilities.

  • 2006

    URI introduces the Domestic Violence Legal Education and Advocacy Program (LEAP), which provides specialized legal support to the residents of URI’s domestic violence shelters.

    In October, URI hosts its First Annual Conference on Domestic Violence — “Domestic Violence in the 21st Century: Moving Forward.”

  • 2008

    At a June conference sponsored by the Department of Homeless Services, Urban Women’s Retreat is recognized as one of the top domestic violence shelters for helping survivors access permanent housing.

  • 2012

    After 32 years of providing service, URI separates from its affiliate organization, moves its central office to downtown Manhattan, and introduces Nathaniel M. Fields as president and CEO.

  • 2013

    Nearly one year after its split, the new URI is introduced, marking the start of a period of widespread program expansion.

    URI’s WWIN is renamed the Working Internship Network(WIN) in an effort to become more inclusive in describing the diverse populations with which URI works.

    URI launches the URIPALS—People and Animals Living Safely—program, New York City’s first and only initiative that allows domestic violence survivors to enter shelter with their pets.

  • 2014

    URI celebrates the opening of New York City’s first-ever dog park in a domestic violence shelter, the Purina Play Haven and Dog Park. This marks the official expansion of URIPALS to welcome dogs into the program.

    URI partners with BBVA Compass to open the first computer lab at one of its domestic violence shelters to help residents overcome economic abuse. This resource will benefit URI’s Working Internship Network (WIN) program and help domestic violence survivors establish secure, self-sufficient lives free of abuse.

  • 2015

    URIPALS expands to Urban Women’s Retreat (UWR) in upper Manhattan and partners with Nestlé Purina again to open a second dog park.

    URI opens Hope House, a 60-bed DV shelter in the Bronx.

    URI hosts the URIPALS forum and releases a white paper analyzing the connection between domestic violence and pet ownership with data collected from the first 2 years of the program.

  • 2017

    URI and Center Against Domestic Violence (CADV) announce a new affiliation with the intention to officially merge in 2018. The combined organization under the URI name will become the largest provider of domestic violence shelter beds in New York State.