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Economic Empowerment Program

98% of domestic violence survivors experience economic abuse

We provide economic abuse services and resources to support survivors in creating sustainable pathways to economic safety and freedom

What is economic abuse?
Common signs include:
  • •   Withholding money or restricting assets
  • •   Not allowing a partner to work or forcing a partner to work and taking their wages
  • •   Withholding important identification documents
  • •   Opening credit cards or financial accounts in a partner’s name without their knowledge and then neglecting to pay the bills
  • •   Coercing a survivor to open financial accounts with the threat or perceived threat of endangerment to themselves, children, and/or pets

Economic abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness are intersecting issues. Economic abuse occurs in 98% of domestic violence cases and is often the main reason survivors stay with or return to abusive partners. While there are many causes of homelessness, domestic violence is the single leading cause, and economic instability is a key reason families become and remain homeless.

Urban Resource Institute’s Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) works to create economic freedom and stability for the families we serve, breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty that impacts many clients. The EEP operates out of the Economic Empowerment Center, providing a state-of-the-art bricks and mortar site in addition to virtual programs and remote learning. The EEP provides job readiness services to help adults and youth living in URI’s shelters obtain economic opportunities, with a focus on living wage jobs and jobs of the future.

The Fab Lab

The Economic Empowerment Center includes the cutting edge Fabrication Lab, or Fab Lab, providing youth and adults with high tech training to prepare for jobs of the future in technology and other high-growth industries. The Fab Lab is an incubator of innovation and creativity, including computer aided design and fabrication, electronics, robotics, film making, and more. URI has the only Fab Lab serving individuals in shelter.

How do we provide economic empowerment services?

  • •   We offer a low-barrier model that is truly open access to all clients who need the services, in a customizable format so clients have choices in what will work best for them.

  • •   Our financial empowerment services include supporting those who have experienced identity theft or coerced debt from their partner.

  • •   We work through an anti-oppressive lens, removing barriers created by oppressive systems that have led to intergenerational cycles of poverty for people of color and other disenfranchised communities.

  • •   In addition to services for individuals, we advocate for change in laws and policies that help perpetuate economic abuse and create barriers for rebuilding economic stability.

What services do we provide?

  • Individualized support to co-create plans that establish economic safety, stability, and security informed by the survivor’s financial history, current situation, their work experience, skills and interests.

  • Workshops on a range of topics for clients in different stages of their career journey, from resume and cover letter writing to mock interviewing to how to make the best first impression. Trainings are also offered on conflict resolution skills and navigating boundaries and triggers in the workplace.

  • Internships and Externships that help clients learn marketable skills and gain hands-on experience in professional work environments and put into action the skills they have learned during workshops and networking.

  • Specialized Programs & Training in fields such as administration, bookkeeping, and more.

  • Job Placement services that support clients in connecting with employers directly and find living wage jobs.

What are Ways to Partner with URI’s Economic Empowerment Program?

Our network of employer partnerships, training provider partnerships, internship and apprenticeship partners include for profit and nonprofit companies and organizations.

For more information or to partner with URI’s Economic Empowerment Program, please contact our team at Infoeep@urinyc.org

URI Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) staff members work directly with clients to provide training, tools, and resources to end cycles of violence, homelessness, and intergenerational poverty. Hear from EEP Program Director, Teal Inzunza and Director of the Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab), John Jeffreys on how the program is helping adults and youth achieve stable futures.

In their journey from surviving to healing, URI clients receive the support and gain the confidence to forge pathways to bright futures. For so many of the individuals and families who’ve entered URI, the newfound financial freedom and self-sufficiency transforms their lives beyond what they’d previously imagined for themselves. Listen first hand to the triumphant stories of former URI clients.

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