Open Door Mission provides assistance for homeless population


Graphic by Hannah Miller

Kylie Hughes, Online Editor

Throughout the Omaha area, 2,000 people are living without a home, according to the Open Door Mission. For some, it started with the loss of a job. For others, it was substance abuse that led to the loss of their home and sometimes, everything they know.

It’s the point where people who have lost everything and have nowhere left to turn, that they go to organizations like the Open Door Mission.

According to Steve Frazee, Senior Program Director at the Open Door Mission, they help people who “have run out of options.” They have run out of good will with their friends, family and employers (if they are still employed).

The Open Door Mission, located on N. 23rd St. offers clothes, food, shelter and personal care items to people who are homeless as well as to those in poverty.

“We offer life changing programs for those who are homeless and suffering from addiction and those who need a new start in life,” Frazee said.

There is a wide variety of programs to help those in poverty or homeless. The first step to get into those programs is to go and ask for help at the Open Door Mission. There, the employees and volunteers that make up the staff provide people with supplies as well as knowledge to help themselves.

One program that the Open Door Mission offers is the New Life Recovery Program. This bible-based 12-step program is dedicated to helping people become sober and integrating them back into society.

Another program, Journey to Work program focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty by preparing people for careers and getting them an education. People in this program can even receive classes to get their GED.

The Open Door Mission, while extensive, is not the only organization that provides assistance to those in poverty or homeless.

The Siena/Francis House is Nebraska’s largest shelter, according to their website. Similar to the Open Door Mission, the Siena/Francis House provides emergency overnight shelter, food for the hungry, and outreach services.

Both of these organizations already receive a large influx of people year-round. Yet, this time of year is particularly bad regarding the amount of people who need help.

Many of the people who are homeless live on the street. People may be willing to camp outside, on a park bench or under the interstate, or they may be willing to stay in their car, but there comes a point when the cold of winter becomes too much.

Due to the large influx of people during the winter, the Open Door Mission could use as many donations as they can get. They appreciate donations of food, clothing, appliances, supplies, and money to help out.

For many people in Omaha, when it gets cold outside, in the sub-zero temperatures, they throw a scarf on with their warm winter coat. They stay indoors in the warmth of a furnace at their house. However, 2,000 people in the Omaha area have no place of their own, warm to go when it gets cold. The place they do have is the Open Door Mission who will provide them with the help they need.