With the increase in travel, many of our clients who resided in Upper Manhattan moved to the Bronx, but still needed our services. In response, we opened a new office in the Bronx. This has expanded our reach and allowed us to provide more of New York`s most vulnerable populations with free holistic housing services, immigration legal advice, and access to benefits. Dan Rieber, director of weatherization, leads members of the U.S. Department of Energy at a development site. Today, our weather mitigation programs include home improvements that improve energy efficiency and an air conditioning program that helps people with critical health conditions. For our communities, these services have a lasting and positive impact on their health and financial well-being and reduce negative impacts on the environment. Today, we serve more than 14,000 people through more than 15 free services and programs, with more than 120 employees, four offices across the city, and a stronger commitment to being a catalyst for positive change in the lives of many. Our community organizing program allows groups of residents to collectively achieve longer-term and greater improvements to their own basic needs. We do this by securing affordable housing through legal advice, community organizations and inclement weather.
promoting economic self-sufficiency through adult education and human resource development; and stabilizing families through social services, health education and domestic violence interventions. Our Domestic Violence Project was founded in 1998 in response to the growing number of domestic violence cases and the deaths of three women in Washington Heights. Today, DVP is a survivor-focused program that creates a safe space to build community through weekly support groups, safety planning, counseling, access to social services, and free legal support. NMIC`s Bronx office provides legal services related to housing and immigration. In March 1979, NMIC opened its doors as a legal aid agency at 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue with a team of two lawyers and four community organizers. We provided legal services to new immigrants primarily from the Dominican Republic and were the only organization offering free legal services in northern Manhattan at the time. In our first year, we provided free legal advice to 12,000 people, organized 50 buildings, helped repair 200 buildings, and formed five neighborhood associations.
Since our founding more than four decades ago, we have grown from two employees to more than 120 dedicated professionals. NFC staff can identify and respond to a wide range of immediate needs by integrating multiple crisis response services under one roof. We now serve all New York residents with a focus on those in northern Manhattan and the South and West Bronx. Our registry offers legal services to prevent evictions. NMIC`s Washington Heights headquarters offers our full range of integrated services. NMIC services are free and bilingual in English and Spanish. NMIC is an equal opportunities and affirmative action employer. Since the beginning, NMIC has worked hard to empower the residents of our community through education, training, organization and support. All our services are free and bilingual English-Spanish. Once their crises are resolved, our clients make a seamless transition to capacity building services through our holistic programs that help individuals and families develop the tools needed to move from crisis to self-sufficiency. In 1997, we created our Ministry of Education in response to the growing need for free education-related programs in the areas of literacy, language proficiency and high school equivalency.
This was quickly followed by our Workplace Development Program, which provided the community with free training services, job readiness training, career development and certification programs. In 2014, the two departments merged to form our Education & Career Services department. We currently offer limited programming on-site. There are two easy ways to access our services: Fill out an online application form here. For tax preparation services, visit our tax preparation page for more information or click here to request tax services and receive an email with a link to make an appointment with us. NMIC is a non-profit organization that operates on a settlement house model to provide free services to residents of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. We care about the urgent needs of our community, including housing, income, health, education and more. For more than forty years, NMIC has been supporting its clients on the path to a secure, prosperous and independent future. We are proud to change the lives of the 14,000 people we serve each year. You can read more about us here. What began as a grassroots movement to provide new immigrants with access to legal housing assistance has grown into a prominent settlement home in northern Manhattan. For more than four decades, NMIC has been catalyzing generational change in our community.
Let`s scroll back in time. NMIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1979 that serves all New York residents, with a focus on those living in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. We work to stabilize the community and help residents build better lives. Some of our adult education courses take place off-site. To register for courses at these locations, please contact our main office. Call our helpline at 929-415-8970 for help with pantries, tax preparation, unemployment insurance, benefits, housing or immigration needs. There are many ways to be part of the NMIC, whether it`s volunteering, participating in an advocacy campaign, or making a donation. Become a catalyst. Our first neighbourhood patrol consisted of four community organizers. Together with newly empowered community members, they formed tenant patrols and participated in block watch and crime prevention sessions at tenant gatherings in Washington Heights, Inwood and Marble Hill in response to rising crime rates.
In the first year of operation, 278 buildings were burgled, including 36 shops, 14 schools, monasteries and churches. Our legal, social and storm services meet the basic needs of community members, including housing, immigration, income and health. The Community Union of Washington Heights and Inwood, or Union Communal, was founded on July 15, 1990 as the Washington Heights Tenants Alliance. Its goal was to organize and advocate for reforms that would improve the quality of life, especially for low-income residents of Washington Heights and Inwood.