October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), and Urban Resource Institute (URI) is proud to have been in the community for over 40 years to help end domestic violence and reduce family homelessness. As the largest and most comprehensive domestic violence residential service provider in the U.S., we are committed to helping survivors overcome barriers to safety and shelter.
URI shelters provide safety and refuge to over 1,500 domestic abuse survivors – 65% of them children – every night, giving them the space and support they need to heal and rebuild their lives. And for the past decade URI has delivered safe shelter and comprehensive, client-centered services to every survivor who walks through our doors – including their pets.
This year we celebrate a milestone and the impact of our pioneering People and Animals Living Safely Program (PALS). For ten years, PALS has been the only shelter and support service in New York City and one of the few nationally to allow domestic violence survivors to co-live with their pets. And in these ten years, we’ve served over 500 families and almost 700 pets to stay together and heal together.
I invite you to watch PALS’ Stories – the extraordinary journey in offering co-living for domestic violence survivors and pets to stay and heal together in shelter, through the voices of people who inspire and elevate the groundbreaking program’s mission.
Another milestone worth celebrating is the important work of the URI Crime Victim Services Program (CVSP) and its trauma-informed and client centered approach to provide comprehensive, case management services to survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. This past summer, CVSP expanded to deliver case management services at the Bronx Family Justice Center – focusing on services such crisis intervention, safety planning, emergency shelter placement and criminal justice advocacy. On Wednesday, October 4, URI is hosting A Blueprint for Change: Ending Cycles of Gender-Based Violence & Homelessness at the Museum of Jewish Heritage for a day-long panel discussion bringing together policy makers, advocates, elected officials, and survivors to explore innovative solutions to end gender-based violence and homelessness.
Experts and community leaders – including Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson; and actress, singer, and philanthropist Dr. Dawnn Lewis – will be there to discuss, and recommend a comprehensive, coordinated, and systemic approach to addressing gender-based violence and homelessness. We are almost at capacity so we encourage you to register today.
Providing shelter services to survivors and families experiencing homelessness is just the beginning of our work. This DVAM I ask you all to join to keep the work going for a future free from gender-based violence and homelessness. Learn more and donate at www.urinyc.org.
Nathaniel M. Fields
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Resource Institute