Lesley Samuel-Young, LMSW, was promoted to Vice President of Domestic Violence Residential Programs at Urban Resource Institute (URI) in 2023, 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 serves as a champion of URI’s clients and team, helping advance partnerships, program and financial management, and strategic planning and implementation across its portfolio of services. In 2016, Lesley joined URI at Urban Women’s Safe Haven, initially as Social Work Supervisor. Her growth extended to Interim Program Director at Women’s Survival Space 1 (WSS1) in 2018, to Program Director at PALS Place in 2019, and most recently to Senior Director in 2020, overseeing five DV residential sites including WSS1, WSS2, UCC, PALS Place, and Brighter Days.
Described as a formidable leader in the social work and residential fields in New York City, Ms. Samuel-Young began her career at Community Access on the Lower East Side, at a mental health clubhouse model program, whose philosophy allowed for mentally ill clients to actively participate in “work” at its day program, in partnership with staff. She was a recipient of a scholarship from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she completed her one-year residency program within the agency.
Ms. Samuel-Young then worked for Weston United’s Transitional Living Community in Harlem before becoming the Program Director at Club United, serving mentally ill adults in a 125-unit psycho-social day program, which also followed the clubhouse model. Ms. Samuel-Young received commendation from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for her service at the site.
Ms. Samuel-Young proudly served in a variety of clinical and leadership roles at partner organizations, most notably Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, with a tenure starting as an Assistant Director at a supportive housing program for mentally ill adults on the Upper East Side. She continued her work at the agency working alongside Met Council staff – in a joint-initiative with the Jewish Board – at Hillside House, a shelter serving homeless families in Queens. She also served simultaneously as an administrative clinician, at a start-up clinic project at the Bayridge Clinic in Brooklyn, when the Jewish Board acquired the site. She was promoted to Program Director for a DV shelter in Queens in 2002, and later added a Tier II to her portfolio to become Director of Queens DV Services for the Jewish Board from 2008 through 2014. She received commendation from the Executive team for leading her staff who mobilized and provided services for clients who were placed in evacuation sites during Hurricane Sandy.
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.