Our mission is to provide services and programs to low-income people that address their basic needs and help them achieve economic independence.
The Center has been fighting poverty in Lincoln, Nebraska since 2003. Founded in a house on Holdrege Street, the Center began by distributing truckloads of household and office goods to area nonprofits. Five years later, we dramatically expanded our space and programs to better serve the community. The new-to-us facility on North 27th Street included 80,000 square feet of office, warehouse and classroom space, which allowed us to hold food distributions and develop educational and training programs.
Since moving to 3901 N. 27th Street, the Center has been able to provide regular food distributions both on- and off-site. We are the Food Bank of Lincoln's largest partner, distributing food to more than 5,400 low-income families in 2021. Through a strategic partnership with the Junior League of Lincoln, we also co-founded Lincoln's first Diaper Bank to meet the growing need for diapers in our community.
Education is the key to helping low-income individuals obtain economic independence. As such, the Center developed educational and training programs to help people obtain employment with a living wage.
- English Language Learning courses are offered for free to refugees and New Americans for whom English is not the primary language. Classes are taught at three skill levels and are geared toward obtaining or bettering employment.
- The POP (People Obtaining Prosperity) program provides full tuition assistance and additional support services to make obtaining an education at Southeast Community College feasible for low-income individuals. POP participants can identify a new career path or expand existing job skills to improve their employment and wage.
- The Center's Opening Doors (formerly TRADE) community reentry program, funded through a grant from the State of Nebraska Department of Corrections, provides education, training and assistance to current and formerly incarcerated individuals. The program's hands-on training and mentorship ensure participants have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully reenter the community and secure employment.
The Center actively advocates for regulations and legislation to remove the barriers that trap people in the cycle of poverty. We are dedicated to the fight against poverty in our community and will continue to provide basic needs and educational and training opportunities for low-income families until there is no longer a need.