New York, NY – January 10, 2018 – Urban Resource Institute (URI), a leading provider of domestic violence shelters and services in New York City, today announced the opening of a new domestic violence shelter in the Bronx called Open Arms. Open Arms is an emergency shelter that provides temporary housing for families fleeing domestic abuse.
According to the City’s Domestic Violence Task Force Report, while overall crime rates have fallen in New York City, domestic violence homicides and violent crimes have increased. In 2007, 4.8% of all major crimes in the city were related to domestic violence; by 2016, that percentage reached 11.6%. Domestic violence now accounts for one in every five homicides—and two in every five reported assaults—citywide.
“Tragically, the need for services to support victims of domestic violence is greater than ever. Open Arms is the first of several new facilities URI will be opening this year to give more New Yorkers the opportunity to seek shelter and services in a safe, supportive environment,” said Nathaniel M. Fields, president and CEO of Urban Resource Institute and Center Against Domestic Violence. “As well, we are thrilled that the City is increasing investment in programs to reduce domestic violence and support survivors, reinforcing their commitment to addressing domestic violence as a critical public health issue.”
In addition to providing temporary housing, Open Arms offers comprehensive services to help survivors heal and rebuild their lives. Programs include job-skills training, legal aid, financial literacy and economic empowerment training, and assistance in finding safe, permanent housing. The residency also offers recreational and educational activities in addition to services for children.
Open Arms features a uniquely intimate environment to encourage the community building and interaction between residents that is crucial for support and healing. Group sessions are encouraged, and the residence features a communal kitchen, providing an opportunity for collaborative cooking, teamwork, and comradery.
“Escaping domestic violence can feel isolating when a family must leave behind their larger support system to stay safe from an abuser,” said Jennifer White-Reid, vice president of Domestic Violence Programs at Urban Resource Institute. “We hope that through encouraging cooperative living, families can immediately begin to form a new support network as they heal and rebuild their lives.”
With the opening of Open Arms, URI now provides almost 650 beds for survivors of domestic abuse in seven shelters located throughout New York City. In 2017, URI and the Center Against Domestic Violence announced a new affiliation with the goal of completing an official merger. Together, the organizations are the largest provider of domestic violence shelter beds and services in New York State.
For more information about URI’s domestic violence services, please visit https://www.urinyc.org.
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, homeless families, and other at-risk populations to live in safety and recover from trauma. With a rich 38-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 nearly 1,500 clients annually.