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A Statement from URI CEO Nathaniel M. Fields
January 7, 2022

Urban Resource Institute applauds New York Governor Kathy Hochul on the commitment to equity, justice and safety for New Yorkers facing intersecting vulnerabilities and barriers to services, as outlined in her first State of the State Address. While the Governor’s comprehensive plan encompasses the full range of issues – economic, environmental and social – URI is inspired by the initiatives that align with our vision of a world free of domestic violence and homelessness, and we are encouraged by the plans to increase awareness and resources for these issues.

Since 1980 URI has provided shelter, safety and services for New Yorkers impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, and we understand the intersection of poverty and trauma as it relates with racism, sexism, and classism. The complexity of the issues and the solutions are reflected in Governor Hochul’s multi-faceted approach that includes: creating the New York State Gender-Based Violence Training Institute to standardize training for domestic violence advocates; additional law enforcement training on the State’s Red Flag Law, which will be available to domestic violence advocates; and adding domestic violence victim/survivor status as a protected class in housing cases.

Beyond these programs laser-focused on domestic and gender-based violence, other aspects of the Governor’s plan address related issues, such as: increasing access to childcare; increased wages for human services and childcare workers; creating a Council on Gender Equity; and, since domestic violence is a crime, increasing the cap for the replacement of essential personal property for victim compensation from $500 to $2500.

As the largest provider of domestic violence residential services in the US, and a leading provider of shelter and services for homeless families, URI looks forward to the positive impact of the Governor’s initiatives and to playing our part in contributing to the “new era for New York.”