OMAHA, Neb. (August 24, 2020) – Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) is pleased to announce that it was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands. Thanks to the generosity of United Way donors, NCHS will continue Pathways to the Future, a critical Family Support program based out of its Children and Family Center located in North Omaha.
Pathways to the Future empowers families towards self-sufficiency by helping them eliminate barriers to success through academic support, career planning and parenting education.
“Pathways to the Future works to improve education and access to resources for families, so they can raise their children at their best and lead productive and fulfilling lives,” said Kim Anderson, chief program officer for Nebraska Children’s Home Society. “Our neighborhood-based services support, educate and empower families.”
United Way funding will provide comprehensive case management and referral assistance to 200 individuals, accessing existing family support, early childhood education and educational services, as well as evaluate the long-term impact on child well-being and family stability.
Through the Pathways to the Future program, support of the United Way of the Midlands helps families find stability and grow the skills and resources that allow them to maintain their progress and live independently. Kirsten and her daughter are one family benefiting from this program’s intensive, two-generation approach. Kirsten initially sought help in April, amid the chaos of the pandemic and the financial crisis. Her struggles were numerous and complex as she identified housing, transportation, and employment as areas of need. While the family’s basic needs were a central concern, Kirsten expressed an interest in developing her parenting skills. Through Pathways to the Future, Kirsten and her Self-Sufficiency Specialist worked to chart a way forward, addressing COVID-related challenges and adapting plans to fit the current reality. She was able to get her driver’s license and save enough money to purchase her own vehicle. She is working on a plan and budgeting to move into permanent housing in the coming months after residing in a group home. She has honed the skills she needs to secure a part time job and has multiple prospects on the horizon. All the while, as she has worked tirelessly to improve her small family’s circumstances, Kirsten has been an active participant in the virtual parenting lessons facilitated on a weekly basis by her Self-Sufficiency Specialist. As she takes important strides towards financial independence, Kirsten continues to grow as a parent, implementing the positive practices her daughter needs to thrive in childhood and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated Kirsten’s life and made service delivery more challenging but through innovation, perseverance, and the generous funding of United Way of the Midlands, Kirsten continues on her upward trajectory towards securing a better life for herself and her daughter.
“We are grateful for the ongoing support of United Way for the Midlands,” said Lana Temple-Plotz, CEO of NCHS. “United Way of the Midlands is a strong community partner in helping to end the cycle of poverty in our communities.”