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NEW YORK (April 9, 2021) – Crain’s New York Business has named Dr. Carla Smith, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Urban Resource Institute (URI), to the 2021 list of Notable in Nonprofits and Philanthropy. Dr. Smith was recognized among esteemed peers across New York City for her leadership, advocacy, and impact within the nonprofit sector. URI is the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the U.S. and a leading provider of homeless shelters in New York City, offering comprehensive, innovative services to vulnerable populations.

“I am honored to be included in Crain’s Notable in Nonprofits and Philanthropy list alongside influential leaders in the space,” noted Dr. Smith. “The recognition is especially meaningful in this challenging year, when the demand for services increased and every nonprofit, including URI, had to adapt to the new environment. I am proud to be a part of the nonprofit community and an organization that remains steadfast in our dedication to delivering innovative services to some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers. As I accept this recognition, I represent everyone at URI who inspire me with their resilience, commitment and compassion every day.”

As Deputy CEO of URI, Dr. Smith oversees all of the organization’s comprehensive services for adults and children impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, including a portfolio of trauma-informed prevention, intervention and education programs reaching 40,000 individuals annually and the operation of more than 20 shelters across New York City, housing more than 2,200 individuals each night.

Dr. Smith joined URI in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Programs, quickly rising to Chief Program Officer and now Deputy CEO during a time of dynamic organizational growth. She has been instrumental in developing and expanding innovative and impactful programs, including:

• The People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) program, the only NYC program that offers co-living for domestic violence survivors and pets, where Dr. Smith’s works to fund and grow URI’s capacity and offer technical assistance nationwide to shelters wishing to adopt the program model.

• Economic empowerment and job training services for URI clients to help them build a more sustainable future.

• The Abusive Partner Intervention Program (APIP), an intervention program for perpetrators of domestic violence to help break the cycle of violence.

• And the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP), middle and high school-based programs designed to educate teens and preteens on healthy relationships and end teen relationship abuse.

Through a career spanning 25 years devoted to social services, Dr. Smith has worked to improve the lives of domestic violence survivors, homeless individuals and families, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and victims of hate violence and sexual assault.

While working full time, Dr. Smith completed her Doctorate of Education in Executive Leadership from Saint John Fisher College, focusing her dissertation on Examining Shelter Access Barriers for Transgender Identified Survivors of IPV. This study enabled her to spearhead URI’s effort to enhance shelter access and to engage staff in working to become culturally competent in the provision of services for members of the LGBTQ+ community.


About Urban Resource Institute (URI):

Urban Resource Institute (URI) is a leading non-profit organization based in New York City that empowers individuals, families, communities, particularly communities of color and other vulnerable populations, to end cycles of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and trauma by increasing safety and resiliency. URI’s innovative programs serve individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and homelessness, allowing them to live in safety and recover from trauma in both residential and non-residential settings. Founded in 1980, URI is the largest provider of domestic violence shelter services in the U.S., and is focused on a holistic approach, encompassing prevention and intervention as well as direct services. With 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 vulnerable populations in the New York City area while influencing service delivery across the U.S. and the world. For more information, please visit www.urinyc.org.

URI’s shelters remain open and available. For immediate assistance, call NYC’s 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE or the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.


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