Access and Referral
Disaster Cycle Services
American Red Cross – Omaha Council Bluffs Metro
The American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services (Preparedness, Response, and Recovery) program provides a vast array of assistance to people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. They prevent and prepare for disasters through education and outreach to vulnerable populations, particularly those living at, or near, the poverty level. For over 135 years in America, and for 100 years in the Omaha metro area, the Red Cross has provided disaster assistance.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program
Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines Council Bluffs
The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program provides crisis intervention services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking victims through the following; 24/7 Crisis line and shelter to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking victims, housing assessment and assistance to exit shelter into stable housing or obtain housing without a shelter stay, health assistance, school/job assistance and financial education to help survivors achieve financial stability. They provide financial client assistance for rent, utilities, transportation out of area, changing locks, etc. They offer follow up with clients to maintain stable and secure housing. They provide individual and group counseling and respond to area hospitals 24/7. They provide prevention programming utilizing the Healthy Relationships curriculum and Mentors in Violence Prevention in area middle and high schools.
Domestic Violence Services – The Shelter
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha
Catholic Charities – Domestic Violence Services (DVS) provides domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and stalking survivors and their children with the tools they need to make independent decisions about their future without intimidation or fear. This program provides a basic needs safety net to a vulnerable population. The services they provide seek to address immediate basic needs, while also providing support to clients who strive to achieve self-sufficiency. The program model relative to the delivery of services incorporates three components:
i. The crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, and support.
ii. Sheltering provides a safe, temporary place to stay for victims affording them an opportunity to safely plan their next steps.
iii. Advocacy activities include safety planning along with connections to community resources focusing on immediate safety and mitigating on-going risks.
Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Program
Heartland Family Service
The Heartland Family Service (HFS) Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DV/SA) Program has been helping victims of intimate partner violence in Sarpy County since 1979. Their goals are to keep the victims safe, hold the perpetrator accountable, stop the violence and raise public awareness about domestic and sexual abuse. Their program provides over 1,400 women annually with safety, advocacy, and emergency supportive services, and linkages to housing assistance. Services include: Safe Haven, our concealed emergency shelter; outreach and therapy services; education groups; and a 24/7 crisis line. The DV/SA Program primarily addresses the basic need of safety (crisis intervention, food and housing) for the victims they serve. However, with the case management provided at Safe Haven, they also ensure clients are aware and able to obtain any state benefits in which they may qualify, able to engage in education for themselves and their children, and able to maintain or obtain employment to increase their ability to sustain self-sufficiency. Additionally, they focus on prevention education in our program. Through a variety of prevention education activities, they promote awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault and healthy relationships to youth in Sarpy County.
Heartland Family Service
The Hardship Assistance program provides immediate financial assistance to low-income individuals and families who are experiencing a financial crisis. This program addresses the category of Basic Needs —Safety Net; Crisis Intervention, Food and Housing, focusing solely on basic needs assistance. Hardship Assistance services are administered out of the Sarpy County and Center Mall offices, providing basic needs assistance to individuals and families in crisis. The Sarpy location offers assistance to residents of Ralston and Sarpy County while the Center Mall office location provides services primarily to Douglas County residents. Brief crisis and referral services are provided to help stabilize immediate situations concerning food, clothing, housing and/or utility assistance. Staff assess client needs, document their eligibility, provide direct financial assistance and coordinate with other human service agencies to meet the client’s immediate and long-term needs. The Sarpy office also has a Donation Center that provides clothing, personal care items, household goods and furniture to area residents through donations from the community.
Case Management for Diverse Elders
Intercultural Senior Center
ISC’s Social Services Department provides case management services to seniors in the community. Bilingual social workers work with seniors one-on-one, do home visits,and develop partnerships with other agencies to bring existing community resources to their site, which makes them more accessible while cutting down on the duplication of services in the area.
Economic Stability Project
Iowa Legal Aid
Iowa Legal Aid will stabilize economically distressed communities using a multi-faceted approach that includes legal advice, education, and individual representation. Iowa Legal Aid will address a broad range of case types, including increasing access to public benefits and protecting income threatened by illegal and predatory credit/sales practices, which will help maintain income stability and encourage economic progress; resisting foreclosure actions and pursuing fair housing violations, which will help maintain and increase safe and affordable housing; protecting assets and income through advanced planning and addressing tax controversies; and sealing juvenile records which will improve employment opportunities.
Making Equal Justice Happen: Hope and Opportunity Through Legal Aid
Legal Aid of Nebraska
To “make equal justice happen,” Legal Aid provides free civil legal services to tackle inequality and increase financial stability for the working poor, elderly and disabled Nebraskans who cannot afford an attorney. They accomplish this by helping clients navigate their way through a complex and intimidating legal system. Often a person in poverty applies for benefits without an attorney’s assistance. Applications are complex. When clients are applying, they are in crisis. Filling out/filing applications and collecting forms becomes exceedingly difficult. Because of this, their applications are denied, and they continue to live in peril. The provision of legal help would overcome this. In need-based cases that involve benefits like Supplemental Security Income, housing, and Medicaid/Medicare, the client has few resources to cover basic needs like housing and food. Benefits-eligible clients typically have nothing to fall back on and are unable to pay bills. Soon they are in crisis: having utilities shut off, facing evictions, or even being unable to feed themselves or their children. This marginalized population require benefits to meet their needs. By providing immediate civil legal assistance to people in worsening poverty, they are able to maintain basic needs. Legal Aid will guide clients on the verge of losing food security or shelter to the benefits they are eligible, but of which they may be unaware. Assistance will be provided to individuals who require aid in receiving unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits and other benefits available under the law. In addition to financial stability, internal referrals to other Legal Aid lawyers allow clients to receive holistic legal assistance and, through collaborative efforts with other local providers, wrap-around services to fully meet their needs and avert crisis.
Safety and Justice for Domestic Violence Victims
Legal Aid of Nebraska
Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Representation empowers victims to overcome the debilitating challenges resulting from domestic abuse. Legal support transforms victims into survivors, moving forward with their children in an environment free from violence, threats and isolation. Legal Aid’s experienced attorneys provide empathetic and professional advice to victims on the path to long-term stability, safety and well-being. Legal Aid takes action to intervene on behalf of clients during crises such as domestic or intimate partner violence, threats, fears for the well-being or custody of their children, or other abuse. When these victims have legal representation, they are freed from the abuser and the physical, financial, emotional and sexual abuse they have suffered. The attorneys help clients pursue safety with a full complement of legal tools. In addition to assistance with protection orders, custody and divorce, victims of domestic violence often have legal issues related to housing, public benefits, healthcare and financial well-being. With internal referrals to other Legal Aid lawyers, clients receive holistic legal assistance and wrap-around services through collaborative efforts with other local providers to fully meet their needs. The program contributes to both primary areas of UWM’s Crisis Intervention goal. It provides a direct safety net for clients seeking security and stability free of violence and fear. The program also collaborates through referrals and consultation with area providers, including Women’s Center for Advancement, Douglas and Sarpy County District Courts, Heartland Family Service, and others. The program also integrates across the focus areas of Health and Financial Stability. With safety planning, physical health and well-being are restored, and the social worker provides case management and assistance with public benefits, housing, forms and referrals. Financial stability is also impacted by freeing victims from financial abuse.
International Center of the Heartland
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska’s International Center of the Heartland (ICH) helps New Americans — refugees, immigrants, secondary migrants, asylees and victims of international human trafficking — achieve self-sufficiency in the Omaha community by providing culturally competent, client-centered wrap-around services. The goal of the ICH is to support New Americans with case management, advocacy, language access and connections to community resources to empower families to successfully integrate, resolve critical issues in key living areas and improve well-being. The ICH touches on all four focus areas of the UWM. Activities primarily address the Basic Needs – Crisis Intervention focus. A majority of clients who come into the ICH are in crisis and need immediate assistance in key living areas such as housing, health, employment and legal issues. ICH support helps to keep these families from falling into deeper crises of food insecurity, chronic health issues affecting employment or even homelessness. Staff help clients with daily living such as transportation to appointments; resolving landlord disputes to maintain housing; supporting victims of crime; referrals to behavioral health, legal services and employment resources; and other needs. The ICH integrates the Health focus area by assisting families with applications to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); connecting them to health clinics; providing referrals to LFS Behavioral Health or other mental health agency to stabilize clients after years of trauma. Education is addressed through acting as a liaison between a child’s school and her caregivers, helping explain the child’s progress, needs, enrollment, etc., engaging the parents in their child’s education to reduce the potential for truancy. The program provides financial stability through financial literacy training, and by helping individuals develop the essential employability skills needed to gain a living wage job.
inCOMMON Workforce Development
Mosaic Community Development
inCOMMON addresses the root causes of poverty by empowering low-income residents to meet their own needs and work with their neighbors to build a strong community. Financial stability is often the first step in a resident moving toward self-sufficiency, so workforce development is one of inCOMMON’s four primary program areas. inCOMMON’s program combines adult basic education, language classes, soft skill development, practical employment preparation, and financial workshops. Through this holistic approach, residents increase their earning potential and financial understanding and skills in order to achieve education, career, and economic goals for themselves and their families.
Pathways to the Future
Nebraska Children’s Home Society
Pathways to the Future provides full case management impact services to families in crisis as well as evaluating long term impact on child well being and family stability. A two-generation approach addresses the primary goal of meeting basic needs through crisis intervention. Specifically designed for working-class and families living in poverty who lack access to services and opportunities for success, the Children & Family Center provides home visitation, early childhood education and educational services and mental health services, including:
- crisis intervention
- educational classes
- support groups
- hands-on referrals
- help accessing community resources
A family-focused community-based approach is used that focuses on: respectful relationships, engaging all family members and accessing services based on each family’s needs and strengths while collaborating with partner agencies to ensure families receive the tools and support they need to reach self-sufficiency.
Material Assistance and Seasonal Services- Omaha and Council Bluffs
The Salvation Army-NE
The Material Assistance Seasonal Services (MASS) Program provides food, vouchers for clothing and household items, utility assistance, prescription medication assistance, bus tickets, gas cards, fire victim assistance; as well as our annual seasonal services that include the summer fan program, back-to-school supplies, and holiday assistance including food and gifts for individuals, families, and seniors. The staff in the MASS Department have been trained to look beyond just fulfilling immediate client needs, to ensure that individuals and families maintain their housing and financial stability by preventing short term needs from escalating into a crisis situation. Material Assistance assesses client or family need and works to identify links to community training or opportunities that would support and stabilize their living situation.
Together Inc of Metropolitan Omaha
The Together Horizons Program focuses on households achieving self-sufficiency and housing stability. To get to this ultimate goal for each household, it is accomplished with case management, financial assistance, and navigation and referral assistance. Three avenues in which Together achieves direction each household include: Prevention – Typically in the form of financial assistance to keep a household in their home, or referrals to local agencies for more detailed help, or help in which Together cannot provide (mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, medical, and/or dental services). Usually a household will need financial assistance because of a past due bill that could result in an eviction if not paid.
Rapid Rehousing – Together utilizes Coordinated Entry and the By Name List (BNL) to focus attention on the household that is next on the list. When the household is receiving help this would be in the form of case management, financial assistance, and navigation and referral support. This includes wrap around services with a strengths-based client driven model. Coordinated Entry/Front Door Services In response to a federal mandate, MACCH is implementing a common, coordinated, and community-wide process of assessment, referral, and housing placement for all homeless individuals and families. The Omaha/Council Bluffs community is implementing a “decentralized” system, with several “access points” available across the continuum, ensuring every homeless consumer receives the same assessment at every provider site. By utilizing a By-Name List (BNL), MACCH determines referrals for permanent housing resources available in the community.
Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault Safety Services – 18-20
Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA)
The Women’s Center for Advancement’s Safety Services Program encompasses four interwoven service areas as part of the agency’s continuum of care. Programs under the Safety Services umbrella include: Advocacy, Crisis Counseling, Legal Services, and Immigration. Safety Services address physical security, emotional trauma, and legal matters that affect both the physical and emotional safety of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault (DVSA). The Advocacy Program aims to offer clients emotional support, increase their knowledge of community resources, and provide critical options for their safety, namely a safety plan. Advocacy services provided by the WCA include: operating Douglas County’s 24-hour hotline (English and Spanish); conducting lethality assessments; safety planning; assisting with protection orders; providing a 24/7, in-person response to hospitals; facilitating emergency housing; and providing both internal and external referrals. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act recognizes that victims who work with an advocate, develop a safety plan, and have knowledge of community resources are safer than those who do not. The WCA’s Counseling Program provides mental health services to adult victims of DVSA. Services include emergency mental health assessments, short-term individual counseling, psycho-educational groups, peer-facilitated support groups, veteran specific programming (Healing Warriors) and referrals to community providers as appropriate. The Legal Services Program provides legal representation to victims of DVSA. Currently, the types of cases in which survivors receive free legal assistance include: divorce, child custody, and domestic abuse and harassment protection orders. The Immigration Services Program provides the expertise of a Department of Justice Fully Accredited Legal Representative in attaining legal status for undocumented victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.