Housing Archive


Thank You For Helping Project Homeless Connect Omaha

Thank you to all who participated and assisted with Project Homeless Connect Omaha on Friday, March 23rd. With the assistance of 582 students (422 from Creighton), 142 community members, 102 Faculty/Staff Members (87 from Creighton), 76 people helping with Set-Up/Clean-Up, 33 Omaha/Council Bluffs service agencies, 21 licensed medical professionals, and 18 Ask Me volunteers we were able to serve 480 Omaha/Council Bluffs area homeless guests.

If you are interested in staying involved with the homeless population in Omaha/Council Bluffs and working towards eradicating homelessness, please take the time to look over this document of ways to stay involved.

You can view all of the pictures from Project Homeless Connect Omaha on Facebook.

Online resources on homelessness:
http://www.macchomeless.org/ (local)
http://works.bepress.com/dennis_culhane/ (UPenn researcher)
http://www.endhomelessness.org/content/article/detail/1902 (video on ending homelessness)



Project Homeless Connect Omaha Volunteer Registration Open

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for Project Homeless Connect Omaha 2013! (Friday, March 22, 8:00am – 2:30pm for Volunteers. Guest intake will be from 8:30am – 2:00pm).

All volunteers must be 19 years old (by March 22) unless assisting with Set Up/Clean Up.

Creighton University encourages employees to participate as a volunteer for Project Homeless Connect Omaha. This year Creighton has approved staff and faculty to use excused paid time to volunteer at this event. It is important, however, to obtain prior approval from supervisors to ensure departments have the coverage necessary to conduct business.

Click on your volunteer role below. (If you have any technical difficulties with the online registration or questions, please email PHCO@creighton.edu.)


Volunteers will assist a homeless guest in filling out a basic in-take form and navigating the guest throughout the process of accessing professional services offered at the event. There are two time slots for volunteers to sign up for. There will be mandatory training sessions for all new Navigators (optional for returning Navigators). Questions about volunteering as a Navigator should be emailed to PHCO@creighton.edu

Set-Up/Clean-Up Only

Volunteers will help set-up for Homeless Connect Omaha Thursday evening 6:00pm – 8:00pm or clean-up after the event Friday afternoon. Questions about volunteering with set-up or clean-up should be emailed to PHCO@creighton.edu

Creighton Health Science Volunteers

If you are a Creighton Health Science Volunteer, please click on your discipline below. The password is “OISSE”.
Questions about volunteering as a Creighton Health Science Volunteer should be emailed to the OISSE office at, oisse@creighton.edu

Licensed Health Care Providers

We welcome Licensed Health Care Providers who are non-Creighton employees to work alongside Creighton faculty, staff, students and other community partners to provide health assessment screenings in their respective discipline.

We encourage Licensed Health Care Providers interested in volunteering for Project Homeless Connect Omaha 2013 to register online. The password is “OISSE”.
Questions about volunteering as a Licensed Health Care Provider should be emailed to Dr. Lorraine Rusch.

Social Service Agency

Representatives offer information and services to our guests at assigned tables. (Please email Ed Shada if you are interested in registering as a Social Service Agency, edshada@cox.net)

To learn more about PHCO and what the day means, take a few minutes to listen to reflections from the day.



Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Zip Realty: Affordable Homes in the US
National Low Income Housing Coalition
http://www.nlihc.org/National Coalition for the Homeless
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Neighborhood Coalition
Mercy Housing: Public Policy Education & Advocacy


Community Host Partner Reflections

“It was incredible being part of their community because this group of people seemed to have perfected the art of living. There was such joy and love from all of them that I felt at peace for the first time in a really long time.” – L’Arche; Clinton, IA

“Always start small. Don’t try to tackle a huge problem all at once. You will feel overwhelmed” – Sustainability; Omaha, NE

“The trip has taught me where true happiness lies – in personal relationships we make with others. Thus, I want to be more connected to my fellow peers and to treasure the love they have to offer.” – Habitat for Humanity; Stroud, OK

“I saw the dark side of life and the light that can spring forth if you open yourself and work to change your mental outlook” –Homelessness; Omaha, NE


Molly Mertens

Molly Mertens gives her reflection on her service experience:

“The door to the home swung open and my eyes slowly adjusted as my group moved out of the natural light. I walked into the living room and had to step over pieces of an abandoned life – hangers, books, and shoes – to get into the kitchen. On the floor of the kitchen was a pair of jeans that were stiff from being submerged under flood waters for weeks following the hurricane. The house, as it stood when we arrived, symbolized hopelessness, abandonment, and darkness. I failed to identify God’s presences among such neglect. As we began to work, I questioned whether my group’s approach to gutting the house modeled Christian behavior; it seemed as if each successive swing of the crow bar brought greater pleasure.
A day and a half later, after hours of lugging, hammering, and shoveling, only the outdoor walls, the ceiling, the floor, and the structural beams still stood. The dust began to settle as fellow group members swept up the remaining pieces of ceiling plaster. I stood in a house that just one day before had been dark and lifeless, and looked up to see a beam of light streaming through a crack in the roof. I thought of God – the light of the world. God’s presence seemed to fill the house, and suddenly, the old adage that God works through people popped into my head. Each swing of the hammer was not, in fact, an act of destruction. Rather, it was an act of spreading God’s love to a place and to a people that were in dire need of it.”



On any given night in the Omaha, Council Bluffs area, it is estimated there are approximately 2000 homeless in shelters and on the streets. (Project Homeless Connect)
Nationally, there are over 745,000 people without homes and over 20% of these people are retired veterans. (What We Mean by Housing)
For more information please visit these and other sites:
Read answers to frequently asked questions about the National Housing Trust Fund and how it works to “provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for extremely and very low income households.” Read more about housing issues from National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).