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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Urban Upbound

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing

Mission: Urban Upbound, formerly known as the East River Development Alliance, Inc. (ERDA), is a community-based non-profit organization located in Long Island City, Queens. Urban Upbound's mission is to transform and improve New York City public housing by providing residents with the tools and opportunities necessary for self-sufficiency and economic mobility and to break cycles of poverty. New York City has 344 conventional public housing developments with over 450,000 residents. The average household income is under $20,000 per year. Urban Upbound currently serves the residents of Queensbridge, Ravenswood, Astori, Woodside Houses, and most recently, Far Rockaway. Queensbridge Houses is the largest public housing development in the country, with 96 buildings spanning six square blocks with over 10,000 residents. Over 30,000 residents live in the five developments we serve, the majority of which are African American and Latino. Urban Upbound is working to build sustainable programs for public housing residents and other low-income New Yorkers that can be replicated in other developments throughout New York City and the nation.

Target demographics: break cycles of poverty in public housing neighborhoods

Direct beneficiaries per year: place 675 people in jobs with an average wage of $10.70; provided financial counseling to over 1,800 individuals; sent 20 kids to college; and banked 300 unbanked residents in the community

Geographic areas served: Queens

Programs: employment services, financial counseling, college access/youth development, community revitalization services, and banking services via the Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Ricardo4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently spending my summer interning at Urban Upbound. The team at Urban Upbound is dedicated, passionate, and truly devoted to assisting the public housing community in NYC. Despite Urban Upbound's already holistic and well-rounded programming, the staff is constantly searching for new ideas and ways to better serve the community that already views Urban Upbound as a great asset. Urban Upbound stands apart from every other non-profit I have worked with and I would highly recommend it to both potential clients as well as potential donors.

1 BenedictJoson

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a development intern at Urban Upbound, I have the privilege of enjoyably working with a dedicated and dynamic group of individuals - within my department and across various offices - eager making a positive difference in the lives of residents of public housing neighborhoods and communities.

Donor

Rating: 5

Love this organization and the great work they are doing for residents of public housing

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to Urban Upbound to get my taxes done earlier this year. The process of making an appointment was easy and my wait time was minimal. The tax preparer talked me through the process and double check everything he did with another preparer. I would highly recommend Urban Upbound to anyone who needs their taxes prepared by a trusted source.

Donor

Rating: 5

Having been a follower and supporter of Urban Upbound for several years, I can confidently say that their services and programs are highly effective and provide a shining example for other non profits tackling poverty in NYC.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Urban Upbound for three years and love the mission of the organization. They do a really great job of demonstrating impact and how funds result in program results.

I was connected to the organization through a close friend when I lived in NYC. Very proud to be a donor.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Upbound's suite of services and integrated programs is truly impressive.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently did my taxes with Urban Upbound through their Tax-preparation service. They were extremely knowledgeable and were able to provide me with all the information I needed and a rapid tax filing. I would certainly come back for this service again. My understanding is that they provide other services too like financial counseling, and I will be using that as well soon.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've gone to Urban Upbound for help with my taxes. It was easy to make an appointment and they were very fast. Definitely recommend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Urban Upbound offers many different services, but that's not what makes it so special. The staff is exceptional and you can tell by their customer service that they really want to help their clients. I recommend the financial fitness counselors, tax prep and benefits enrollment to my friends and family!! It is really a special organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Urban Upbound is a well-respected organization with high-impact programming. They teach individuals how to improve their lives and give them tools for empowerment. They have a unique program model that serves low-income New Yorkers with a full-suite of services. The organization is poised for long-term success.

Mary P. Smith

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Urban Upbound is one of the most resourceful nonprofit organizations I know. I've seen this organization from infancy to present and I have to say the founders vision is coming to past. Many people have benefited from the many programs/services Urband Upbound offers such as upward mobility, financial independence, first time ownership programs, higher education access, job readiness and placement, tax services and countless hours mentoring our youth. Urban Upbound is the epitome of excellenance a nonprofit organization of services for all people in communities that really needs help and support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Urban Upbound staff works tirelessly to help those who come to this non-profit in a number of fields including financial assistance, a College Access Program, and more.

Everyone is friendly, hardworking, goes above and beyond to help, and is dedicated to their cause as well as to the clients. I've seen clients walk away feeling satisfied with the work that was accomplished and more prepared to continue their own growth as individuals.

This organization is highly recommended and definitely worth looking into.