Safe Homes serves local women and children in the Omaha Metro area who have broken free of the domestic violence cycle. This means that they have moved from an abusive household into a shelter and have completed an education, counseling, and/or employment program. These women are recommended to us as they are ready to take the next step towards independence.
Once recommended from a shelter, we step in and provide first month’s rent or utilities as well as a letter of support to their new landlord.
After approval, we offer a $500 voucher for first month’s rent or utilities towards a new living arrangement.
Statistically, a woman leaves an abuser seven times before finally breaking free.
The two most critical times in this transition are when she leaves her abuser for the last time, and when she leaves a shelter to strike out on her own.
In 1978, the Shelter opened for abused women with Notre Dame Sisters at the helm. The Sisters eventually handed over the Shelter to Catholic Charities and conducted a study on how to support abused women.
In 1998, Safe Homes was born as a social justice ministry of the Notre Dame Sisters. In 2016, the Sisters added the Keeping On program to continue supporting women after their first month of independence.
“I want to thank you for all that you have helped me with this year. You gave me something to look forward to each day and month, plus a new lease on life and in faith.” ~Leslee, a mother in our program.
Safe Homes provides the first month’s rent or utilities to help women obtain affordable housing. These women in the Omaha Metro area have successfully completed programs through a domestic violence shelter and are ready to take the next step towards independence. It also offers follow up support through community resources, encouragement, and groceries.
This is the only program of its kind currently in the area, so in many cases, Safe Homes is a woman’s only resource to help her move forward on her own in Omaha. Economic restraints are the number one reason women return to a violent home. Safe Homes solves that problem.
The women we serve have participated in an educational, career-building, and/or counseling program, are employed, and have been recommended to us by the staff of a partner shelter and related agencies. This program directly benefits women (single or with children) who have been recommended from a shelter and are ready for independent living.
“When someone’s leaving an abusive relationship, they are stripped of everything. Often they don’t have the skills, financial literacy, credit score, or knowledge about how to get into a place. So, it’s really like they’re starting from the beginning,” said Nyawour Paljor, a social worker with Catholic Charities.
The Keeping On program is part of Safe Homes that gives the woman we serve a support system and connects her with information on community resources. One of our Sisters receives calls to see what are her challenges, obstacles, and plans for the next month.
Program funds go directly to supporting women during a critical point in their lives. The women served appreciate all of the individual donors who support the program, and the funding agencies who also make this possible:
- Aksarben Foundation
- American National Bank
- Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters
- Home Instead Inc.
- John A. Gentleman Mortuaries
- Physicians Mutual Insurance Company Foundation
- Sisters of Charity BVM
- St. Pius X Men’s Club
- St. Stephen the Martyr Parish and School
- St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
- The Hawks Foundation
How you can help
The Notre Dame Sisters self-fund this program through fundraisers, grants, and donations from supporters.
You can make all the difference to a woman and her children right now.
- $500 provides first-month’s rent
- $250 provides first-month’s utilities
- $100 provides a food voucher