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First In Person Internship Program and Graduation Celebration since 2019

New York, March 28, 2023Urban Resource Institute (URI) hosted its 2023 winter commencement for 13 women survivors of domestic violence (DV) and homelessness from its Economic Empowerment Career Exploration Program. This marks the first fully in-person internship opportunity and graduation event since the pre-pandemic program completed in early 2019.  The Career Exploration Program provides URI clients with an 8-week paid internship with a variety of companies and organizations, including various departments within URI, as well as Goodwill, Dress for Success, NMIC, Mt. Sinai, and Union Settlement. The internship serves as the capstone of the comprehensive Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) that provides customized job readiness workshops and counseling to advance clients in their journey from trauma to triumph.  

URI is the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the U.S. and a leading provider of shelter and services for homeless families. URI has the capacity to provide transitional housing and comprehensive services to 2,200 adults and children every night.  

In 98% of domestic violence cases, economic abuse occurs and is often the main reason survivors stay with or return to abusive partners, creating a barrier to safety. Establishing economic security and stability is an integral part of providing holistic care to domestic violence survivors and an essential part of a survivor’s healing process.   

The EEP empowers survivors to create short- and long-term financial plans, equipping with the resources to gain and maintain control over their financial futures – providing them with career and financial workshops through trauma-informed and anti-oppressive lens. Individual and group sessions cover career development, financial empowerment services, in-person or virtual training sessions, and group programming. In person sessions take place at the URI EEP conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, where it is accessible from all boroughs.

“We provide support to survivors of domestic violence and homeless families in reclaiming the financial stability and control that was lost as a result of the abuse they experienced. When we provide trauma-informed services, we provide survivors with the choice of many different service offerings that are customizable depending on their needs and goals. These services range from getting into the workforce to succeeding within a role to working on their credit score,” said Teal Inzunza, Program Director for URI EEP 

Amnah Bashier, Program Manager of Career Services at EEP, noted during the graduation celebration that the graduates gain and demonstrate “skills, resilience, finesse, grace and confidence” as they advance through the Career Exploration Program.” 

“We are so proud of the work and the impact we’ve made through the URI Economic Empowerment Program. Clients we’ve placed into a position through the program have increased their income by 350% – which has a lasting effect on themselves and their families,” added Inzunza. “We look forward in continuing to work alongside and to support our clients and survivors in ending the cycles of intergenerational abuse and poverty, and we are honored to be with them on their path to financial stability and safety.” 

As Christine Figueroa, a former URI Economic Empowerment Program client said, “URI has been a very, very major impact in my life. I became the somebody I should’ve been years ago.”

The URI Economic Empowerment Program has a waiting list of clients that exceeds the current program capacity. Companies, organizations, and funders interested in learning more or finding ways to support the life-changing program can contact infoeep@urinyc.org.



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About Urban Resource Institute: 
Urban Resource Institute (URI) transforms the lives of domestic violence survivors and homeless families by empowering individuals, families, and communities, particularly communities of color and other vulnerable populations, to end cycles of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and trauma by increasing safety and resiliency. As the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the US and a leading provider of homeless services, URI’s programs impact more than 40,000 individuals annually through prevention, intervention, education, and direct services in both residential and non-residential settings in New York. URI is recognized as a thought-leader with influence across the U.S. and beyond. For more information, visit www.urinyc.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.      

If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance, call NYC’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. 

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