In March of 1994 Urban Renewal Corp. (URC) a non-profit 501c3, social service organization was formed to meet the exploding homelessness crisis within the city of Newark. With estimates exceeding over 2,500 emergency cases per year, and a shortage of beds, URC quickly found themselves housing over 400 emergency homeless in six different facilities. The population was diverse and challenging. There was the elderly, the career homeless, displaced workers, ex-offenders, drug addicts, physically and mentally challenged, battered women, and veterans. Everyone had a unique story, a collection of different circumstances, and sometimes “just bad luck”. The length of stay varied from one day to multiple years.
It didn’t take long to realize there had to be a better way, we had to try to break the cycle, and do more than just warehouse the homeless. Our community based, social service organization became a safe haven for the economically disadvantaged.
Today Urban Renewal Corp. serves over 3,000 homeless individuals per year. Many come in hungry, in need of medical care, and with very few possessions. They need retraining, education, and direction.
Currently URC maintains over 600 beds in 9 facilities servicing emergency, transitional, and permanent housing needs. In 2002 we opened the 50,000 sq. foot Urban Recycling and Training Center (URTC) to provide an innovative and comprehensive computer education and recycling program to better prepare our students to reenter the workforce as capable and successful individuals.