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Media Contact: Dondi Quintans
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
Urban Resource Institute
dquintans@urinyc.org, (646) 823-2239 


Urban Resource Institute Promotes Lesley Samuel-Young to VP of Domestic Violence Services; Wil López to Senior Director of Government Affairs 


New York – August 7, 2023 – Urban Resource Institute (URI) is proud to announce the promotions of Lesley Samuel-Young, LMSW to Vice President of Domestic Violence Services; and Wilfredo ‘Wil’ López, Esq. to Senior Director of Government Affairs. 

Lesley Samuel Young, LMSW
Ms. Samuel-Young was recently promoted to Vice President of Domestic Violence Services, from her previous role as Senior Director, providing leadership to five domestic violence (DV) residential sites. As Vice President, she now oversees 16 residential programs in four boroughs of New York City, including emergency, transitional, and rapid rehousing. Ms. Samuel-Young joined URI in 2016 at Urban Women’s Safe Haven, initially as Social Work Supervisor. Her growth extended to Interim Program Director to Program Director at People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) shelter, and most recently to Senior Director in 2020, overseeing five DV residential sites.
“Ms. Samuel-Young continues to be a champion for URI’s clients and teams. We are proud to have her as our new Vice President to help advance partnerships, program and financial management, and strategic planning and implementation across URI’s Domestic Violence Services portfolio,” said Dr. Amanda Eckhardt, URI Chief Program Officer.  

Ms. Samuel-Young is a formidable leader in the social work and residential fields in New York City. Prior to joining URI, she served in a variety of clinical and leadership roles at partner organizations, most notably Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services. Ms. Samuel-Young holds a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications and Sociology, from Hunter College; and received her master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter School of Social Work. She also received her Doctorate in Theology from Mount Olive Bible Institute and Seminary in 2012. Visit the URI website to learn more about Lesley Samuel-Young, LMSW. 


Wilfredo “Wil” López, Esq.
Mr. Wil López was recently promoted to Senior Director of Government Affairs after serving as the department’s Director for nearly a year. As a Senior Director, he will be playing a greater role in developing government affairs strategies and managing multiple campaigns, along with Lauren Schuster, Esq., URI’s Vice President of Government Affairs.

Mr. López’s work has helped strengthen partnerships and elevated URI’s profile and impact; this year, URI was instrumental in the passage of a New York City local law recognizing economic abuse as domestic violence; and Mr. López provided critical support to a coalition advocating for legislation for domestic violence survivors burdened by coerced debt.

“In less than a year, Wil López helped lay the foundation for Urban Resource Institutes’ new Government Affairs department and has been instrumental in driving positive change for URI, its staff, and the survivors and families we serve. As a result of his hard work and demonstrated commitment to our mission, we are thrilled for what Wil brings as our new Senior Director,” said Schuster.

Mr. López holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Holy Cross and a law degree from Pace Law School. He also serves on the Metropolitan Hospital Community Advisory Board and Latino Justice Líderes board, as well as holding fellowships with JCRC BridgesNYC and the Council of Urban Professionals.


About Urban Resource Institute:   

Urban Resource Institute (URI) helps domestic violence survivors and homeless families transform their lives 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.