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Urban Resource Institute (URI) Awarded $20,000 Grant From BBVA Compass

Grant continues BBVA’s support of URI’s efforts to combat financial abuse in domestic violence situations.

New York, NY – November 22, 2016 — At URI Celebration, an inaugural event honoring people and organizations that have positioned themselves as leading advocates in the fight against domestic violence that took place last week, BBVA Compass presented a new $20,000 grant to URI. Since 2014, BBVA has supported a number of URI’s programs, especially its initiatives around financial literacy and economic abuse related to domestic violence.

Earlier this month, BBVA NY hosted a financial literacy education workshop for URI domestic violence shelter residents. This grant continues BBVA’s partnership with URI to empower domestic violence victims, especially in the area of financial independence, and to help educate domestic violence victims about economic abuse.

Economic abuse, which is when an abuser controls the employment or finances of their partner, is present in 98% of domestic violence relationships. It can include an abuser restricting their partner’s spending, preventing them from working, or destroying their credit score. As a result, survivors feel that they lack the funds to escape abuse and rebuild an independent future, and many return to their abuser for that reason. In order to combat this prevalent problem, BBVA has hosted financial literacy sessions for domestic violence survivors living in URI shelters, made grants, and donated hardware for a new computer lab at one of URI’s domestic violence shelters.

“Our partnership with BBVA has allowed us to provide crucial information about financial literacy to domestic violence survivors,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of Urban Resource Institute. “Many people do not realize that domestic violence often has a tremendous financial impact on a victim in addition to an emotional or physical impact. We are grateful to BBVA for all they have done to help us raise awareness about the prevalence of economic abuse while assisting us in providing direct services and financial literacy education to our shelter residents.”

“Our recent actions with the Urban Resource Institute, both with the financial literacy workshops and this $20,000 grant, are part of our continuous desire to help economically abused people within our communities,” said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Citizenship and Reputation Rita Garza. “We use a variety of resources to bring the age of opportunity to everyone, and this grant was a big step in elevating our work with URI and the amazing things they accomplish.”

Media Contacts:
URI:
Kevin Maloney
KMaloney@GroupGordon.com
212-784-5716

Eseohe Yamasaki
EYamasaki@urinyc.org
646-604-7923

BBVA Compass:
Al Ortiz
Al.ortiz@bbva.com
281-433-5640

About Urban Resource Institute
Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive social services that aid and empower New Yorkers in times of crisis. URI’s programs help victims of domestic violence, the homeless, and other at-risk populations to live in safety and recover from trauma. With a rich 35-year history; deep community relationships; and a flexible, innovative approach to program development and service delivery, URI is uniquely equipped to provide solutions to the challenges affecting New York City’s most vulnerable populations. Headquartered in Manhattan, URI is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in New York City, serving over 1,600 clients annually. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 674 branches, including 345 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 75 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (4th). BBVA Compass was recently named Best Digital Bank in North America by global finance magazine Euromoney, and earned top nods for best mobile app and best regional bank in the South & West in Money magazine’s annual list of the Best Banks in America. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.

Urban Resource Institute Hosts First Annual URI Celebration Event Honoring Those Working to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Pets

Event and awards ceremony brought together leaders from the business, non-profit, entertainment, and animal welfare communities to help raise awareness for domestic violence

New York, NY – November 18, 2016 – On Tuesday November 15th, Urban Resource Institute (URI) hosted its inaugural fundraiser, URI Celebration, at espace ny in New York City to honor people and organizations that have positioned themselves as leading advocates in the fight against domestic violence. The event was emceed by award-winning journalist and WABC-TV Eyewitness News weekend co-anchor Sandra Bookman.

The night began with a pet-friendly red carpet featuring therapy dogs escorting guests into the event, courtesy of New York Therapy Animals, Inc., followed by the unveiling of a new video feature on URI’s URIPALS (URI People and Animals Living Safely) program. URIPALS is the only program in New York City and one of the few nationally that allows survivors of domestic violence to live in a shelter apartment with their pets. The program was launched in 2013 after URI identified and filled an urgent need for domestic violence victims who did not want to have to be forced to choose between their own safety and leaving their beloved pet behind. To date, URIPALS has helped 62 families with 86 pets, including 47 cats, 29 dogs, 8 turtles, a betta fish, and a bearded dragon, escape domestic violence.

The awards portion of the event featured actress and producer Kyra Sedgwick presenting the 2016 URI Leadership in Domestic Violence Award (Individual) to Linda Wolff, a domestic violence survivor, advocate, URI shelter volunteer, and small business owner of CPW Boutique. URI board member Carmen Smith, who serves as Vice President, Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering and Parks and Resorts, also received the 2016 URI Leadership in Domestic Violence Award (Individual). Purina—one of URIPALS’ strongest supporters and partners—was also presented with the 2016 URI Leadership in Domestic Violence Award (URIPALS).

“2016 has been an incredible year for us at Urban Resource Institute, and we are so grateful for the support of advocates like Linda and Carmen who help us make the work we do for domestic violence survivors possible,” said Nathaniel Fields, President and CEO of Urban Resource Institute. “Part of our mission as we move into 2017 will be both to continue our work in providing direct services to survivors and to raise awareness of the importance of creating pet-friendly domestic violence shelters, and partnerships with organizations such as Purina help make it all possible. We would also like to thank our sponsors and ticket holders, whose support allows us to continue the critical work of URI. As many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations because they don’t want to leave their pet behind, and it is our hope that we can educate other service providers, politicians, and the public about the importance of allowing survivors to bring their whole families—pets included—with them into shelter.”

To learn more about URIPALS and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit www.urinyc.org.

Media Contacts:
Kevin Maloney
KMaloney@GroupGordon.com
212-784-5716

Eseohe Yamasaki
EYamasaki@urinyc.org
646-604-7923

About Urban Resource Institute
Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive social services that aid and empower New Yorkers in times of crisis. URI’s programs help victims of domestic violence, the homeless, and other at-risk populations to live in safety and recover from trauma. With a rich 35-year history; deep community relationships; and a flexible, innovative approach to program development and service delivery, URI is uniquely equipped to provide solutions to the challenges affecting New York City’s most vulnerable populations. Headquartered in Manhattan, URI is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in New York City, serving over 1,600 clients annually. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.