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Every month of the year is set aside to raise awareness about key societal issues, and November has been officially designated National Children and Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, which includes Hunger and Homelessness Week starting on November 12. These periods of reflection and recognition were created to align with Thanksgiving, a holiday that celebrates abundance, home, and family gatherings – all of which are painfully lacking for individuals who are unhoused.
URI strives to recreate that sense of family and belonging by delivering safe shelter and comprehensive services to families experiencing homelessness across New York City. Each night, URI serves 1,000 adults and children in our homeless shelters, and 1,200 individuals in sites for survivors of domestic violence and their families. That means approximately 1 in 35 unhoused individuals in New York City is served by URI. The single leading cause of homelessness in New York and across the country is domestic violence, which intrinsically links our mission areas of domestic abuse and homelessness.
Recently, the growing homelessness emergency has become a major news story. But at URI, we have never lost sight of the fact that behind the headlines are human beings, including children and adults, who need our help. Across the United States, approximately one third of the homeless population are families with children. Right here in New York, more than 104,000 students were homeless last school year.
At URI shelters, youth and children represent 70% of all shelter residents. Beyond providing safe, dignified shelter, URI has a dedicated staff delivering comprehensive, client-centered programs and services to help end multigenerational cycles of poverty and violence. Families that are unhoused need safe shelter as a first step, followed by services to empower them build a future that is safe and stable.
In response to growing need, URI is working to expand our capacity for serving homeless families and put them on a path to a brighter future. Learn more about our Programs for Homeless Families and consider supporting us.
In solidarity,
Nathaniel M. Fields (he, him, his)
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Resource Institute
75 Broad Street, Suite 505
New York, NY 10004