Heartland Family Service financial assistance programs.

Supporting both parts of Nebraska and Iowa, the non-profit Heartland Family Service arranges short term financial assistance along with Case Management Services. Much of this is part of the Homeless Link Program (PCHL) in the region, which is available in both Douglas as well as Pottawattamie County.

The assistance is for dealing with a short term financial hardship. There may be free food, funds for utility or heating bills, clothing for work or school, and a number of rent and rehousing programs. Any aid from Heartland Family Service is short term only.

The goal of the agency's Case Management Services is to provide mid-level support support and guidance. Anyone that enrolls will be assigned to a comprehensive assessment process. This will include a review of their financial circumstances and hardship. The case manager will determine which community services in Sarpy County will be most beneficial. They will provides access and applications to those resources, and then follows through to ensure that the client has received all needed assistance.

The counseling will be ongoing. The staff member from Heartland will offer guidance as the client works toward finding permanent solutions to the issues at hand, whether it is housing or employment. This is done until the person obtains greater levels of independence.

Based at the Heartland Family Service North Office, the Career Clothing Closet focuses on employment needs. The center provides free, appropriate work attire for men, the unemployed and women as they make the transition into self-sustaining careers. Donations are needed as well, and those interested in volunteering or donating at the Career Clothing Closet are appreciated.

All clothing provided from the location in Nebraska, whether for interviewing, training, first day of the job, or working, is free of charge. This clothing closet is available to clients of Heartland Family Service, in addition to those referred by other local colleges, agencies, churches and shelters located throughout the metro Omaha area.

The GEMS - Gendler Emergency Medication Service serves Omaha and Douglas County residents who lack medical insurance coverage or have limited coverage. Heartland Family Service will help those clients that have exhausted all available sources of government or charitable assistance for obtaining prescription medications.




Based on funding levels, participants may be required to pay for a portion of the total costs of their medication as part of GEMS. Note the service and how much is due is provided on a sliding fee scale, based on and periodically revised according to federal poverty guidelines.

The Sarpy County Donations Center offers hygiene items, food, clothing, and more. The location meets the basic needs of residents experiencing situations of crisis (such as underemployment) or financial hardship.

Heartland Family Service clients who are referred by staff members or other agencies, such as Department of Social Services, schools, churches, or shelters, are welcome to visit the Center to pick up needed items.

Christmas and Holiday Assistance Programs are available to Heartland Family Service for clients as well as children. This is offered in North Omaha and Sarpy Counties. One key program from the non-profit, known as the Adopt a Family Distribution, matches low to moderate income families in need with community donors of food and gifts, such as the Salvation Army in Nebraska. Donors and volunteers are absolutely essential to the continued success of this holiday program.

There is also a food pantry. This is open as the result of support from local churches. The Heartland Family Service Tri-City Ministerial Association Pantry serves clients who reside in Ralston, Papillion, as well as La Vista.

Various housing programs from Heartland Family Service

Heartland Family Service Rapid Re-Housing Program assists the recently evicted as well as homeless by providing housing and cash grants. It is offered in Pottawattamie, Sarpy, and Douglas County. Any funds provided will cover up to one to twelve months of temporary financial assistance for rent or security deposits. There may also be supportive services. To benefit from this housing program, applicants must be completely homeless and have a source of income.

PCHL – Rapid Rehousing serves the homeless as well. This offers them shelter, hot meals, and one to two months of financial assistance for rent. There is also in-home case management services for as long as they remain active in the program.

The mid to long term transitional housing program helps struggling families get back on their feet. The client needs to contribute toward these costs as well. There will be stable housing arranged in apartments in Council Bluffs, along with supportive wrap-around services.





Also, staff from Heartland Housing Opportunities collaborates with other non-profit and charitable agencies that offer instruction in gaining the employment and financial skills needed to become self-sufficient. For the transitional housing program, all rent amounts due from the tenant are based on household income, and the extended time period enables participants to gain greater financial stability, find work, save money, pay down debts and find permanent housing.

Many agencies are part of the Homeless Link Program (PCHL). MICAH House Emergency Family Shelter, Heartland Family Service, Messengers of Hope Ministries Place, a meal site, churches with a housing facility, and Iowa Legal Aid all partner to offer housing programs. The purpose of PCHL is to streamline social services and efficiently address the wide array of needs experienced by families living in poverty as well as the homeless.

Heartland Family Service offers outreach, mental health counseling, transitional homes, section 8 voucher applications, substance abuse treatment, and other housing assistance. Specific PCHL services include the following.

Grants for One-Time Financial Assistance is for tenants behind on their rent or the homeless. The program helps people avoid loss of housing due to utility shut-off, eviction or other reason. Financial help in Pottawattamie or Douglas County includes money for deposits, rent, heating and utility bill payments.

Assistance is also available for expenses such as paying for birth certificates, transportation passes, obtaining identification and other items necessary to eliminate barriers to housing and employment.

Heartland Family Service Supportive Services – This is offered in partnership with MICAH House. Lower income clients are given support in accessing permanent housing and financial assistance. Supportive services in the region also include case management as well as outreach for those living in the streets, or in other locations that are not intended for human habitation. If the individual living in poverty needs it, then free mental health and substance abuse services are arranged.

Rapid Rehousing may offer up to one year worth of financial help. Any funds for rent from Heartland Family Service are combined with in-home case management services for as long as clients remain active in the service.

The Permanent Supportive Housing Program helps disabled, homeless residents of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The resource will help them find and pay for permanent, scattered-site housing or apartments in the private market.

The participant's share of the rent as well as energy bills due is set at up to 30 percent of adjusted income. PSSH sets no time limits, enabling participants to remain in their apartments for the long term, even in the event that they successfully complete the program and no longer need assistance.




The long term goal is to provide case management services as well as housing assistance that help clients overcome significant barriers to obtaining stable, permanent housing in cities such as Omaha, as well as to ensure that they do not become evicted again.

For more information, Heartland is based at 2101 South 42nd Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68105. The phone number is 402-553-3000.


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