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URI celebrates PRIDE everyday

As we embrace Pride Month under the 2024 theme “Reflect, Empower, Unite,” we celebrate the resilience and courage of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) community. Their journey—fueled by a relentless quest for equality—invites us to reflect on pivotal moments, from the bold defiance at Stonewall in 1969 to today’s ongoing advocacy against discriminatory laws. The bravery of LGBTQI+ individuals continues to drive a transformative movement, reshaping our world into a sanctuary of inclusivity and justice. 

However, our journey is far from complete. LGBTQI+ individuals worldwide continue to encounter formidable barriers that undermine their safety, dignity, and rights—issues Urban Resource Institute is deeply committed to addressing. At URI, Pride is more than a month-long observance; it’s a steadfast daily commitment.

Our 43-year legacy and our inclusive care model are testaments to URI’s foundational belief that everyone—our staff, our clients, and all individuals, regardless of gender, sexuality, or any other identity—deserves respect, value, and safety. 

E.E. Cummings once remarked, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” At URI, we witness this courage every day, particularly in the 13% of our clients who identify as LGBTQI+. Their bravery ignites our mission to deliver safe, respectful, and trauma-informed care that honors the full spectrum of individual identities. 

Echoing Harvey Milk’s challenge, “How can people change their minds about us if they don’t know who we are?” URI actively works to broaden understanding and foster environments where every voice is heard and valued. Our commitment to transparency and education helps dismantle prejudices and build bridges of empathy and allyship. 

In an era where the rights and very existences of individuals are under attack, our determination to defend and uplift is more critical than ever. Alongside our partners, URI championed the NY SAFE (Safe Access for Everyone) Shelter Act, which would make it easier for survivors of violence without children to access temporary shelter.  

For the first time in more than a decade, the NY SAFE Act was successfully passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature. Once this bill is signed into law, survivors without children – such as survivors who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, trafficking survivors and older adult survivors – will be able to more easily access shelter. URI will continue its relentless advocacy until the NY SAFE Shelter Act becomes law.  

This Pride Month, and in every moment hereafter, let us reflect and recommit to fostering a world where every community is secure, stable, and flourishing. Let us empower and celebrate the rich diversity that elevates our lives towards for a future where everyone can authentically be themselves. Together, we stand united with the LGBTQI+ community, inspired by their resilience and guided by their light.

Nathaniel Fields
CEO, Urban Resource Institute

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