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.
Board Names Reed Interim Executive Director of YES

The Youth Emergency Services (YES) Board of Directors has named Kalisha Reed to lead the organization as the Interim Executive Director.

Reed steps in for Mary Fraser Meints, who left the organization January 3. She will serve in this capacity while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

“I’m excited to lead YES with the support of the YES Board of Directors, Trustees and staff,’ Reed said. “YES does amazing things in the community to help homeless and near-homeless youth, and we’re prepared to do even more great things moving forward.”

Reed brings many years of leadership experience at various levels – including executive director – to her new role.

She joined the YES team in October as the Director of Program Services after serving as the Executive Director of Right Turn, which closed services in September 2021. She will continue to lead YES programs in a dual role as Director of Program Services.

During her time at Right Turn, Reed managed a budget of nearly $2 million, developed and implemented a strategic plan to increase monthly referrals by 10 percent. She also actively sought partnerships outside of Omaha and Lincoln to strengthen the organization’s mission and vision, and researched, implemented and launched the program’s first cloud-based data management and case documentation system.

Prior to that, Reed served for five years with Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC), first as the Behavior Health Clinical Manager/Therapist and the final four years as the Director of Therapy Operations. She also worked as a therapist and counselor with CHI Health, Heartland Family Service, Boys Town and Girls, Inc. of Omaha.

Reed holds two Master’s degrees – one in Organizational Performance and the other in Clinical Counseling – from Bellevue University, where she has been an adjunct instructor since 2018. Her bachelor’s degree is in Pre-Law with a minor in business from the College of Saint Mary.

She is an advisor and board member of the Pre-Law Program at the College of Saint Mary as well as a member and mental health community liaison for the South Omaha Community Care Council
Thankful Mom Praises YES

When her son, Gabe, encountered a bit of trouble last year that took him away from the family home, Melina didn’t have many options to keep him safe and off the streets.

While she admits to not being familiar with Youth Emergency Services at the time, she quickly learned about YES’ Emergency Shelter and was
able to get him safely housed.

YES turned out to be the Godsend that she and her family needed – and needless to say, she’s incredibly grateful.

“I’m convinced that without YES, he would have ended up on the streets
or somewhere else unsafe,” said Greger, a loan officer with Veridian Credit Union who emigrated from Puerto Rico to the United States
several years ago.

“Gabe had been at Boys Town in the past and struggles with ADHD, but when he takes his meds, he is an amazing young man. When he doesn’t,
he makes bad choices.”

Due to legal matters earlier this spring, Gabe couldn’t live at his parent’s home and had nowhere to stay. Not quite 18 at the time, he didn’t have a
job and he wasn’t able to get his own apartment.

Because no other family lives in the area, he would have had to move into
an adult shelter or make other arrangements.

Suffice it to say, Melina was beside herself with worry about what might happen to Gabe, but found extreme comfort when Gabe found extended refuge at YES’ shelter.

He was able to gain employment with UPS but was unable to find
long-term housing and eventually decided to move to North Carolina
last fall to live with his sister.

“His time at YES helped him in so many ways, and I am so thankful for that,” Melina said. “He’s had trouble making friends in the past and has
had low self-esteem, but his experience at YES helped him gain friends, employment and so many other things.”

Gabe has future aspirations of being an electrician, so upon his return to
the area before Christmas last year, he began working toward securing housing, pursuing that career path and setting his wheels in motion for a bright future.

Melina thought so highly of YES and the services Gabe received that she nominated the organization last fall to be among the five nonprofits chosen for Veridian Credit Union’s 2021 Spark the Spirit Giving Campaign.

Each of the five nominees were given two weeks to garner the most votes, with the top vote-getter awarded $5,000, second $2,500, third $1,000
and fourth and fifth getting $500 each.

YES finished with the second-most votes to win $2,500 to go toward
helping us reach and surpass our $25,000 Giving Tuesday goal.

Needless to say, it’s a burgeoning relationship – YES, Veridian and
Melina – that YES definitely wants to maintain moving forward,
especially if that means being able to provide further services and
support to Gabe and Melina in the future.

“YES will always be part of my charitable giving moving forward, and I
will be looking for ways to give back and help because they helped us at
a time when we absolutely needed help,” Melina said. “I can’t express
how grateful we are for YES.” 
Creighton Steps Up!

Students from the Creighton School of Medicine (plus one friend!) donated their time Saturday, January 29, by volunteering at the YES Emergency Shelter.

The group did lots of heavy lifting -- removing furniture, tearing out carpet, replacing ceiling tiles and much more! We are #sograteful for their help and support!
Program Profile

Street Outreach Center

On any given night in Omaha, hundreds of youth are scared and cold living on the streets.

Homeless youth are approached by human traffickers within a few hours of being on the streets. LGBTQ+ youth make up a large percentage of homeless youth in Omaha and nationwide.

Youth are kicked out of or run away from their homes every day because
of nonacceptance or bad situations at home.

As the frontline representatives of YES’ services, outreach workers hit the streets of greater Omaha looking for youth in crisis. They carry backpacks filled with basic needs and emergency supplies and patrol areas where homeless and at-risk youth congregate.

Outreach workers are trained to identify youth in need and to provide immediate information and services.

Outreach workers invite homeless and street-dependent youth, ages 16 to 21, to the YES Street Outreach Center located at 26th and Harney streets. Youth are welcome at this safe place to:

·        Eat warm a meal, get pantry items (in-person and remote delivery)
·        Take a hot shower
·        Wash their clothes
·        Meet with health care professionals (physical and mental)
·        HIV, STD, and pregnancy testing (Nebraska AIDS Project,
·        Get help obtaining a driver's license or other form of identification

Learn more about Street Outreach, schedule a tour and/or contact us for a school, church or organization presentation. Please contact Jamise for more information.
Colder Weather Brings
Need for Warm Meals

Because of you, homeless youth in our community DON'T GO HUNGRY -- and we are SO GRATEFUL!

However, now that we are into the coldest of the winter months, it's clear that WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Never is it more important to have a WARM MEAL!

Meals can be catered or frozen and should be large enough to feed 10-15 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.
We have some exciting EVENTS coming up. We would LOVE your support!

August 29 -- YES Golf Outing, sponsored by Union Pacific
October 13 -- Dance for a Chance 2022

For more information, please contact Barb.
YES is Here, There
and Everywhere!

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

metroMagazine (pages 9, 31 & 46)
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 March 2022 issue of YES News in your mailbox Tuesday, March 1!

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