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URI Remembers Co-Founder, Former Chair of the Board and Community Activist Horace L. Morancie

HoraceMorancieURI joins the New York City community in mourning the loss of URI co-founder and former Board Chair Horace L. Morancie. A true force for positive change in his community, Morancie dedicated his life to bettering the lives of his fellow New Yorkers.

“Horace Morancie’s passing has left all those who were fortunate enough to know him with heavy hearts,” said URI president and CEO Nathaniel Fields. “His commitment to serving others has left an indelible impact on our organization. Despite our collective sadness, Horace leaves behind a legacy of hope that serves as continued inspiration to us all.”

“It is with great sadness that I received news of Horace Morancie’s passing,” said Whittaker Mack III, Chair of the URI Board of Trustees. “I had the pleasure of serving with him on the URI board for years and can say with certainty that his character and commitment will not soon be forgotten.”

Morancie, one of the co-founders of URI, a former chair of the URI board, and a long-time trustee of the organization, fought to provide vital social services to the people of New York City. Morancie worked closely with his fellow founders to develop programs at URI to address several community issues including housing, job training and domestic violence. Following his time on the URI board, Morancie remained an active supporter of the organization and its mission until his death.

In addition to his work with URI, Morancie was selected by Mayor John Lindsay to lead the Central Brooklyn Model Cities program as part of the Great Society and War on Poverty initiatives of the 1960s and 70s. Morancie’s respected leadership and tireless commitment to social service helped lay the groundwork for URI, which today provides domestic violence, addiction, and developmental disabilities services to more than 1,400 residents of New York City every year.

Urban Resource Institute Awarded Avon Foundation For Women Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Grant For Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program

Avon Foundation Awards $1 Million to Fund 16 Coordinator Positions in Domestic Violence Organizations Across the United States

logo-speak-out

(New York, NY – February 10, 2015) – The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $62,500 one-year grant to Urban Resource Institute (URI) in support of its Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program, which provides annual funding for 16 full-time Economic Empowerment Coordinator positions in domestic violence agencies across the U.S. Since the Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program launched, the Avon Foundation has supported 111 coordinator positions throughout the U.S. by providing more than $6.5 million in grants.

The Avon Domestic Violence Survivor Empowerment Program is part of the Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative, which launched in 2004 to help end the cycle of domestic violence. The Avon Foundation for Women has donated nearly $38 million for domestic and gender violence programs in the United States, including support for awareness, education, direct service and prevention.

The critical funds awarded to Urban Resource Institute will make an immediate difference to domestic violence survivors in New York City. Coordinators help provide domestic violence survivors with vital resources and economic empowerment tools necessary to develop self-sufficiency, so that they are able to lead independent, violence-free lives.

“One out of every four women in the U.S. will experience domestic violence during their lifetime,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of Urban Resource Institute. “With the Avon Foundation for Women’s generous grant, Urban Resource Institute will be able to continue its tradition of providing innovative solutions to those whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence in New York City.”

The Avon Foundation for Women grant will be used by Urban Resource Institute to support its Working Internship Network (WIN) program. Since 1998, WIN has provided domestic violence victims with financial literacy, computer and job skills training. In 2014 alone, 80 domestic violence survivors participated in the WIN program.

About Urban Resource Institute

Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive human services programs that help individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area overcome obstacles and better their lives. With a rich 35-year legacy of social service research and expertise, 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’s most vulnerable populations. URI’s hands-on programs for victims of domestic violence, the developmentally disabled, and people struggling with addiction and substance abuse are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual, while community outreach initiatives build wider visibility and support for the issues that have an impact on our clients’ quality of life and New York’s urban communities. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence

The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through 2013, the Avon Foundation for Women has donated nearly $38 million in the United States to support domestic violence programs, services and education. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in nearly 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and educating women around the world through its army of more than 6 million Avon Representatives. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.

For more Information

For more information on {name of your program} at {name of your organization}, please call {name} at {phone}. For more information about domestic violence services, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or online at www.ndvh.org.

Contact:

Kevin Maloney
Group Gordon
(212) 784-5716
Kmaloney@groupgordon.com

URI Chosen as Mary Kay Foundation Grant Recipient

mary-kayThe Mary Kay Foundation has awarded URI a $20,000 grant to support our domestic violence shelter programs. With this funding, we are able to provide computer training to interns in our Working Internship Network program, which gives shelter residents valuable job training and experience that empowers them to move forward and attain self-sufficiency.

Since 2000, the foundation has provided annual grant funding to domestic violence organizations that assist survivors and work to prevent and eliminate abuse. In 2014, the foundation awarded a total of $3 million to 150 domestic violence shelters throughout the United States, serving an estimated 400,000 women and children. “URI is grateful to the Mary Kay Foundation for its support and recognition of the work we do to help survivors recover from domestic violence and rebuild their lives,” said URI President and CEO Nathaniel Fields.

Gifts and Celebrations Make Holidays Bright for URI’s Shelter Families

Donated Gifts and Toys Collected and Distributed

Donated Gifts and Toys Collected and Distributed

New York-area organizations and URI supporters sponsored toy and gift drives and hosted parties that brought holiday cheer to families and individuals in URI’s domestic violence shelters. We deeply appreciate the participation and support of these generous sponsors and organizers: Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA), Greater New York Chapter of The Links, Inc., Harlem Community Advisory Board, Disney/ABC, Brooklyn NAACP, Avon, Morgan Stanley, CPW boutique owner Linda Wolff, Lions Club, Safe Haven Community Advisory Board, Brooklyn Reading Council, Berean Baptist Church, and Landon Dais and the Grant Access Company.

Highlights:
Harlem community leaders partnered with the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence to organize the 5th Annual Harlem Toy Drive, held during the #HavPlentyBrunch at The Cecil Harlem.

URI volunteer and domestic violence survivor Linda Wolff organized a holiday clothing and toy drive at her Upper West Side boutique, CPW, to benefit URI shelter residents.

The Harlem Community Advisory Board and Disney/ABC Television Group donated $1,200 to sponsor a holiday party for shelter residents. Gifts to residents included books donated by Disney and handmade scarfs donated by Disney BlanketEARS.

The Links collected and distributed toys and gifts and hosted a party at Urban Women’s Retreat, with food, dancing, face painting and a visit from a Macy’s Santa.

MBBA distributed toys and gifts and generously donated $750 to sponsor a holiday party for families at Urban Women’s New Beginnings shelter.

URI’s #DVfree Video Campaign Momentum Continues

dvfree-campaignURI’s national video campaign to prevent domestic violence, launched last October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, features intimate accounts by domestic violence survivors who have come forward to tell their stories, vividly highlighting the impact of abuse and the path to healing and recovery. Thank you to all our friends and supporters who have participated in the campaign—to date, the videos have received more than 43,000 views! Please continue to help us make the world #DVfree by sharing these stories with your social networks. Watch and share the videos

Acclaimed Actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick Join URI’s #DVfree Campaign!

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick photo
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick have taken to Twitter to help us spread the word about URI’s #DVfree video campaign! URI is so grateful for their support. Please retweet their messages (@kevinbacon and @kyrasedgwick) and follow their lead: Post your own photo and message on Facebook and Twitter about your commitment to help make the world free of domestic violence. Please watch the videos and share these courageous survivor stories with your social networks: www.urinyc.org/dvfree

Purina #BetterWithPets Summit: URIPALS in the Spotlight

Left to right: John Hockenberry of NPR; survivor Pamela Isaac; Rita Garza of URI

Left to right: John Hockenberry of NPR; survivor Pamela Isaac; Rita Garza of URI


Rita Garza of URI and domestic violence survivor Pamela Isaac spoke about the impact of the URIPALS program at the Purina #BetterWithPets Summit in New York City on October 14. Isaac, who was able to bring her three cats with her into shelter because of URIPALS, spoke movingly about what it meant to her to be able to keep her pets with her. Purina, a URIPALS sponsor and partner, invited URI to participate in the summit, which was streamed live online to a worldwide audience. The presentation was one of 15 by a range of experts who highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and pets.

Urban Resource Institute Launches National Video Campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The “DV Free” campaign will roll out a series of never-before-seen survivor video testimonials, calling on Americans to stand up for a world free of domestic violence

NEW YORK – October 1, 2014 – To kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Urban Resource Institute (URI), New York City’s first and only domestic violence services provider to open its doors to pets, today announced the launch of its national video campaign, titled “DV Free.” The video series profiles domestic violence survivors who are coming forward to share their stories publicly for the very first time, with the goal of raising critical awareness about our collective responsibility to stand up for a world free of domestic violence.

“There has never been a more critical time to stand up against abuse,” said Nathaniel Fields, President and CEO of the Urban Resource Institute. “We know that an alarming one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and that’s one too many. By leading the charge for a world free of domestic violence, the Urban Resource Institute is calling on everyone to do their part—whether big or small—to help end the cycle of violence and pledge their commitment to becoming DV free.”

Throughout October, URI will unveil new videos each week, offering a rare glimpse into the dark realities of domestic violence from different vantage points, including men, children, and families with pets. Each video showcases the diverse ways that abuse—whether physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic—has no boundaries and affects people of all ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds. Viewers will be encouraged to share the videos widely via social media platforms, using the hashtag #DVfree.

Among the domestic violence survivors sharing the intimate stories of their abuse:

Titi, 29, was in an abusive relationship for nearly three years. To escape the abuse one day, she jumped off her second-story balcony and broke her leg from her knee down to her ankle; she was hospitalized for five months as a result. As she began her healing process at URI, Titi said, “I feel like I’m releasing a lot of things I went through—all my pain. I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore.”

Linda, 60, demonstrates that domestic violence can affect any of us. A successful entrepreneur who owns a clothing boutique on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and sponsors clothing drives and other activities that benefit URI’s shelter residents, Linda was in an abusive relationship for 15 years until she finally broke free. “I want people to understand that there’s no typical face of domestic violence—people think it’s a problem that only affects lower-income and minority groups,” she said. Another problem is that “people don’t talk about it. I see the impact it has on the women in URI’s shelters when I share my story with them. I wish there had been someone to talk to me that way.”

Jose, 21, often witnessed his mother being abused by his stepfather. “I was younger, so my mom would always tell me to not get involved, that it was her problem,” Jose said. When his mother left the relationship, he entered URI’s shelter with her. “As a child, you don’t want to see your mom going through that. Domestic violence is not something you want your child around at all.”

Ebony, 32, was in shelter at URI for six months. “I always looked at myself as a person who was strong,” she explained. “Then I met this one guy who took that all away from me. The worst moment was when my 14-year-old daughter walked into the room, because she heard her mother hollering and screaming. To hear her say, ‘Leave my mom alone’—that’s when I felt I had to leave.” Ebony is currently facing the challenge many domestic violence survivors experience in New York City—finding affordable housing upon leaving shelter.

Ashley, 22, was raised in a physically and emotionally abusive home, and fell victim to the cycle of violence when she wound up in an abusive relationship as an adult. “I thought this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with until the beating started,” she said. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had to fight.”

Ana, 25, grew up in a home where her father abused her mother. “I thought that was what love looked like,” she admitted. “When I was in my first serious relationship as an adult, being abused emotionally, physically, and economically felt normal. It was all I knew.” Ana spent six months healing at one of URI’s domestic violence shelters. “My journey at URI has completely shifted my perspective, and I hope my story can be a lesson to others about the importance of making all relationships free of domestic violence.”

Muriel broke free of an abusive relationship and entered a URI shelter with her daughter in 2009 but was forced to separate with her dog, Jasmine, since shelters weren’t equipped to take in pets at the time. “There were nights where I just wished that I had my dog to comfort me when I was worried and feeling alone,” said Muriel of her shelter stay. “An animal is never going to be able to ask for help, but pets are often subjected to violence and physical abuse in order to manipulate the victim into acting the way the abuser wants them to.” In 2013, Muriel helped celebrate the launch of URI’s URIPALS—People and Animals Living Safely—New York City’s first-ever initiative to enable domestic violence survivors to enter shelter with their pets.

With awareness being critical to the campaign’s mission, URI is taking to social media to build momentum for the cause. Show your support for a #DVfree world on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about URI’s “DV Free” Campaign, or for vital awareness and safety planning tips, visit www.urinyc.org/dvfree.

About Urban Resource Institute

Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive human services programs that help individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area overcome obstacles and better their lives. With a rich 34-year legacy of social service research and expertise, 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’s most vulnerable populations. URI’s hands-on programs for victims of domestic violence, the developmentally disabled, and people struggling with addiction and substance abuse are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual, while community outreach initiatives build wider visibility and support for the issues that have an impact on our clients’ quality of life and New York’s urban communities. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

URIPALS Milestone: All 10 Pet-Friendly Apartments Are Now Filled!

uri-pals

We are thrilled to share an important milestone for URI—six months after starting to accept dogs, and just over a year after launching URIPALS, we’re proud to announce that all 10 of our pet-friendly apartments are now home to domestic violence survivors and their pets. Currently, URI is housing 8 dogs and 5 cats, and has welcomed 22 cats, 13 dogs and 3 turtles since the URIPALS program began!

We are proud to lead the charge to protect domestic violence survivors and their beloved pets from abuse. URIPALS eliminates a critical barrier that many survivors face when fleeing an abusive situation: leaving their pets behind.

Help URIPALS Expand

With URIPALS now at capacity, the need to expand our co-sheltering program—the first and only one of its kind in NYC—is urgent. Through the continued support and generosity of our partners—the ASPCA, Purina, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals—and additional support from the community and friends like you, we can expand URIPALS to our other shelters. Please make a donation today to help us achieve our goal to keep more families and their pets safe.

URI and BBVA Tackle Economic Abuse

Urban Resource Institute, BBVA Team Up to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence Overcome Economic Abuse

Ribbon-cutting celebration marks the opening of a new computer lab to promote financial literacy and self-sufficiency for domestic violence survivors

BBVA New York donated 100 computers to URI for the computer lab, while the BBVA Compass Foundation donated $20,000

NEW YORK, July 8, 2014 — Urban Resource Institute (URI) and BBVA celebrated the opening today of a new computer lab at one of URI’s busiest domestic violence shelters, with the global financial services firm supporting URI’s pioneering effort to eradicate economic abuse, which affects 98 percent of domestic violence survivors.

BBVA New York donated 100 computers to the lab while the BBVA Compass Foundation, the charitable arm of BBVA’s U.S. franchise, gave a $20,000 gift. Both donations were announced today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the lab, which is designed to be a safe and motivational space for survivors to gain job-training skills and other resources to establish their financial security.

“We’re in the business of building a better future for people — and there are few things more rewarding than lending your expertise and your resources to truly empower people,” said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. “URI’s approach to combating domestic violence spoke to us and our spirit as innovators. It opened the first shelter in New York where victims could bring their pets, for instance, a very meaningful thing for people whose lives have been turned upside down. We knew we had something to contribute to URI’s holistic approach to the problem, and that’s the ability to zero in on the issue of economic abuse.”

Pictured from left to right: Whittaker Mack, URI; Dr. Lisa Ross, URI; Marie Philip, Office of Domestic Violence at NYC Human Resources Administration; Nathaniel Fields, URI; Reymundo Ocañas, BBVA Compass; Sally Toro, BBVA; Paloma Tejada, BBVA; Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA; Bernadette Smith, URI

Pictured from left to right: Whittaker Mack, URI; Dr. Lisa Ross, URI; Marie Philip, Office of Domestic Violence at NYC Human Resources Administration; Nathaniel Fields, URI; Reymundo Ocañas, BBVA Compass; Sally Toro, BBVA; Paloma Tejada, BBVA; Ricardo Laiseca, BBVA; Bernadette Smith, URI

BBVA Compass, through its partnership with leading education technology firm EverFi, also will bring the Web-based financial literacy program for adults, EverFi@Work, to URI.

“For many domestic violence victims, the damage wrought by economic abuse — which can result in ruined credit scores, identity or property theft, legal issues and erratic employment histories — can be overwhelming,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URI. “We are grateful for BBVA’s collaboration in bringing attention to this often unaddressed and underreported issue, and hope to help our residents on their paths to establishing financially secure, independent and safe futures.”

Victims of abuse frequently face a double-edged sword — stay in, or return, to domestic violence situations, or leave and risk facing crippling financial insecurity. Seven out of eight women who go back to their abusers say they return because of financial pressures they face as a result of economic abuse.

“I experienced harassment from the abuser so many times at work that I lost my job and also lost my ability to be independent,” said one survivor who’s now participating in URI’s innovative Working Internship Network program, where shelter residents shadow URI employees through an eight-week internship. “Seeking shelter from domestic violence meant leaving everything behind. As I rebuild my life at URI, I realize now more than ever the importance of understanding my finances and gaining job skills that will help me get back on my feet.”

For tips on helping victims of economic abuse protect themselves, their families and their financial futures, please visit http://urinyc.org/domestic-violence/about-abuse/#economic.

About BBVA Group
BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at www.bbva.com.

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 684 branches, including 352 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 78 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico. 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 (5th). BBVA Compass has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration and was recently awarded the 2013 Celent Model Bank Award for its new core banking platform. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at www.bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com.

Editor’s Note: BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank, Member FDIC.

About Urban Resource Institute
Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive human services programs that help individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area overcome obstacles and better their lives. With a rich 34-year legacy of social service research and expertise, 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’s most vulnerable populations. URI’s hands-on programs for victims of domestic violence, the developmentally disabled, and people struggling with addiction and substance abuse are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual, while advocacy and community outreach initiatives build wider visibility and support for the issues that have an impact on our clients’ quality of life and New York’s urban communities. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.