2679 Farnam Street, Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68131
Youth Emergency Services assists youth experiencing homelessness
and near homelessness by providing critically-needed resources
which support them in their desire to be self-sufficient.
United Way Day of Action
is Your Opportunity to
Make a Difference

While the pandemic continues to limit our volunteer needs, we can definitely use your help with DONATIONS and MEALS April 8 during the United Way of the Midlands' Day of Action!

  • We're making a concerted effort to FILL OUR MEAL CALENDAR for April and May by asking everyone to contribute AT LEAST ONE MEAL as part of the day's community engagement and activity.

  • United Way's Day of Action is also a community-wide CALL TO ACTION to MAKE DONATIONS to your favorite nonprofits -- like YES!

  • There will be a constantly-updating TALLY BOARD (similar to Omaha Gives!), hourly monetary prizes and the OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU to HELP CHANGE LIVES in our community!

Starting April 1, you can USE THIS LINK to make donations to help provide SHELTER, FOOD and a BRIGHTER FUTURE for homeless youth in our community!

DAY Special for homeless and near-homeless youth in our community.
Lots of Opportunities for You to Support YES During DO GOOD Week April 19-24

When the Omaha Community Foundation announced its decision to end Omaha Gives! last fall after almost a decade, SHARE Omaha stepped in with Do Good Week April 19-24.

This year, instead of one day of profound giving to area nonprofits, Do Good Week is encouraging supporters and fans of the Metro's nonprofits to DO MORE and DO GOOD!

Here's how you can help YES during Do Good Week!

April 19: Mission Monday 
Share in our mission – learn about what inspires our work from the people in the trenches on our social media!

April 20: New Giving Tuesday
Encourage friends, family and other people in your life to support YES for the first time with a donation!

April 21: Wish List Wednesday 
Purchase items from the YES Amazon Wish List or donate cash for goods and services!

April 22: Volun-Thursday 
Signup/volunteer to donate meals to feed youth we serve through our Street Outreach Center -- or donate $27.20 (the monetary equivalence of one volunteer hour)!

April 23: Fund It Friday 
Make a cash donation to help YES reach its goal of $10,000 to help our youth and support our programs!

April 24: Celebration Saturday 
Celebrate the impact you made during Do Good Week with us! (more details to come via social media)

Please watch our social media this month -- particularly between April 19-24 -- for details about how YOU can participate and support YES during Do Good Week!
Rapid Rehousing Program Places Youth in Safe Housing During Pandemic

During a year of transition and uncertainty in 2020, YES launched a new program to help place youth in safe, stable long-term housing.

Rapid Rehousing, proved essential during the Year of COVID, giving youth searching for shelter safe living conditions to quarantine, social distance and shelter-in-place.

Program Coordinator, Skyler Mann (above), talks about how the program has evolved over the past year-plus and where she wants to see it continue to evolve and impact the community moving forward.

The YES Rapid Rehousing program started just more than a year ago. How does it work? What is its intent/impact?  

The Rapid Rehousing Program serves young adults between the ages of 18-24 years. Within this program, we assist program participants in locating permanent housing in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties. Once we locate this housing, we provide each household enrolled in our program with up to one year of rent and utility assistance, along with ongoing case management for the duration in the program.

We have the ability to work with households of all sizes, whether that be single-adult households or households with children. All of the individuals or families that we receive referrals for in this program are either living in an emergency shelter, on the streets, in a place not meant for habitation or fleeing from domestic violence.

Therefore, the primary goal of this program is to be able to assist participants we work with to exit homelessness and move into safe and stable housing. Once they are in stable housing, we then work to identify and make progress on the goals they set that will help them overall toward being able to maintain permanent housing.  
What were your expectations going into your role directing Rapid Rehousing as the Program Supervisor?  

Going into this role, I knew there would be some challenges with it being a new program. But with that, I saw it is an incredibly exciting opportunity to be part of the team that implemented this program within our agency and provide several more housing openings for young adults within our community. After having worked as a case manager in Rapid Rehousing for a year now, I continue to evaluate how our program is operating and what more I can implement to best serve the individuals I work with.  

How many youth have you helped/impacted so far? Can you give an example or two of success stories? 

Over the past year, I have worked with 17 individuals in this program between those who are currently enrolled in our program and those who have transitioned out of the program. 

There are so many different stories of success, hope and resiliency that I witness every day. One of the stories that really sticks out to me is the day that I helped one of our participants get moved into her apartment right before the end of last year. This particular youth is 18 years old, and she had been experiencing homelessness and housing instability for over a year by the time that she became officially enrolled in our program. 

Over the duration of that year, she had lived in various friend’s cars and on the streets. Some nights, she was able to stay on a friend’s couch when she could find someone who had space, but it was never more than a night or two. 

On the day that she was scheduled to move into her apartment, she was able to go shopping before to get some furniture and household essentials, and she was having so much fun picking out items to fill her apartment to make it feel like home. She was even able to receive a $500 gift card on the day of her move in by the apartment company as part of a move-in special that they were having, which she was then able to use to get even more items for her home. 

The moment that stands out to me most from that day though was when the manager handed her the keys to her apartment after signing her lease and told her “welcome home.” Seconds after the property manager said those words to her, she immediately burst into tears of joy. It was such a wonderful moment to be there for and is just one example of the many amazing young adults I get to work with and help every day.  

Does Rapid Rehousing complement YES' other residential programs?
The Rapid Rehousing program is completely separate from our Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Home programs. YES is one of the many partner agencies of the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH), who implements and oversees the Coordinated Entry System for Douglas and Sarpy counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in Iowa. 

Our Rapid Rehousing Program receives 100% of our program referrals from the Community Queue through the Coordinated Entry System. Where the clients in the Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Home Programs reside in one of our various houses or apartment units that we operate, Rapid Rehousing participants locate housing options in the community that can accept the rental assistance that we offer through the program. 

Just as the TLP and MGH programs provide case management while the young adults are in the program and voluntary aftercare case management after they transition out of the program, the Rapid Rehousing Program also provides the same.  

What has been the greatest reward for you in your role managing the program?

One of the most rewarding parts of my role is having the opportunity to work with so many amazing young adults and support and help them find and maintain permanent housing.

My favorite days at work are when participants in the program get to sign their lease agreements and are handed the keys to their apartment. The moment these young adults get to walk into their apartment for the first time is when it really sets in that they now have a safe, stable place to come home to every day and night. 

How can the community help you and the youth in this program? Donations? New relationships for housing? 
Moving a program participant into their new apartment also comes with needing to fully stock their home with all the necessities. Items such as furniture, bedding, kitchen utensils, dishes, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, and all the other essentials that an individual may need when they first move into a new home. Therefore, we are always so appreciative for any donations that we receive that we can then utilize to help furnish and fill up these young adult’s apartments.

Another important factor in our program is finding apartment communities and landlords that are willing and able to work with our program. I have been so fortunate to have made so many connections already with different landlords and apartments in the community, but I am constantly working to find more landlords in the area that we can work with. The more landlords we can connect with, the quicker we are able to move our program participants into housing while also ensuring that we find the best options for the household’s needs.  

What have you heard/learned from the youth impacted by this program thus far? What have you learned about the community? 
Working as a case manager in this program has vastly broadened my knowledge on various resources that are available in our community. One of my main roles as a case manager is to help participants get connected to resources that will help them on their path towards self-sufficiency.

Therefore, it is so vital for me to be well-versed on these resources available in our community so that I can help the young adults I work with established wrap-around services that will support them as they work to further goals that they are setting for themselves.  
Dance for a Chance Moved To October to Ensure Dancer, Audience Safety

In order to ensure dancer and audience safety during the ongoing pandemic, Youth Emergency Services (YES) is moving its annual 2021 Dance for a Chance fundraising event to October 7. It will once again be held at the Omaha Design Center.

After canceling last year’s event due to COVID-19 safety protocols, this year’s Dance for a Chance: The Roaring Twenty-Twenties presented by Lindsay Corporation was originally scheduled for August 2021.

But in order to allow more time for vaccinations and safe congregating, the decision to move the event back two months was the right move.

“Because of the nature of our event – especially when you have dancers and instructors spending weeks practicing together before performing together – we wanted to make sure we give everyone time to vaccinate and then safely congregate,” said Barb Farho, YES Director of Development.

“We are looking into some virtual elements to add to this year’s event for those who may not feel comfortable attending in person, and we are looking forward to having an event where people can safely come together and celebrate.”

Similar to Dancing with the Stars, Dance for a Chance pairs up dancers with instructors, who then work together to create a dance, pick accompanying music and practice over the summer before competing in October.

YES is currently assembling a list of dancers and instructors for this year’s event. Based on recent years, YES anticipates more than 500 people in attendance physically and virtually. 

The 2019 Dance for a Chance proved the most successful in the history of YES, raising more than $130,000.

Please visit yesomaha.org and YES social media to learn more as the event comes together.

Meals Needed to Feed Youth this Spring

YES serves hundreds of meals each month through our Street Outreach Program.

We're only able to do this BECAUSE OF YOU -- and we need your help filling the meal calendars for our Street Outreach Center for April and May!

Our Center, which serves homeless and near-homeless youth in the community, welcomes donations of catered and frozen meals due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Meals should be large enough to feed between 20 and 25 youth. Further details can be found on our Meals Donation Page*.

Please contact Maren with any questions.

Thank you for signing up today so our youth don't go hungry!

*Your donations are tax deductible.
YES is Here, There and Everywhere!

We love telling you about the great things we do everyday to change the lives of homeless and near-homeless youth -- and here's proof!

*Through June 2021, 101.9 FM The Keg will run public service announcements (PSAs) about YES, our programs and our events. Thank you to St. Gregory Recovery Center and NRG Media for choosing YES for these complimentary PSAs. We are most grateful!
We have some exciting EVENTS coming up.
We hope we can count on your support!

April 8 -- United Way of the Midlands Day of Action
April 19-23 -- Do Good Week, sponsored by Share Omaha
August 30 -- YES Golf Outing, sponsored by Union Pacific
November 30 -- Giving Tuesday 2021
Like What We're
Saying? Please Share!

Please share this newsletter with friends and family, and if you aren't seeing something you want to know about YES -- please let us know!

Look for the May 2021 issue of YES News in your mailbox Saturday, May 1!

Thank you for helping us spread the word about the great things happening at YES!