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.
It is crucial that we continue to act as a support system to these survivors, connecting them with other programs and services locally. One of our Sisters reaches out regularly to see what challenges they are facing, what obstacles they are overcoming, and what their plans are for the next month. Not only do we support women and children financially, but also provide a spiritual component in helping them rebuild their lives.
We have partnerships with Heartland Family Services, Sienna Francis House, Women Center for Advancement, Catholic Charities of Omaha, and Bethlehem House. These agencies identify the women who would benefit from our assistance, refer them to us at Safe Homes, and help them with their application.
Our ultimate goal is to create systemic change by getting these children out of an abusive household and helping mothers and women live independently from an abuser. We are proud to have served thousands of women and children over the years. No one should ever make the choice between feeling safe and secure and having shelter. This gives mothers the opportunity to raise the next generation without domestic violence, helping break the cycle.
The Need Continues, especially during Covid-19
Arrests in the Omaha Metro area for domestic violence are up 49% over the past three years, and half of those arrested had previous assault charges, according to the Women’s Fund of Omaha. Moreover, our partners in local shelters anticipate a 5-10% increase in women seeking shelter from violence due to the pandemic. This is why your support for our Safe Homes Program can truly make a difference in the life of a woman and her children.
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
history of safe homes
In 1978, the Sisters realized domestic violence was rising across the country. With Catholic Charities, “The Shelter” (a domestic violence shelter for local women) was established in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Sisters provided funding and staff to run The Shelter. With significant growth, Catholic Charities took over operations. After many years of domestic violence work, the Sisters knew there were additional challenges facing these women.
Their vision of service culminated in research that clearly identified there was a need to provide funding for women graduating from shelter programs. Having secure housing that first month after leaving the shelter can be the difference between homelessness and returning to your abuser. Thus, Safe Homes was born.