Space is becoming precious commodity at Omaha’s Open Door Mission. CEO Candace Gregory says they housing as many people as possible. She says they have seen an increase during the summer months like they have never seen before.
The mission has 816 beds and every one is full. There is now a wait list for some.
Gregory says, “We currently have a wait list, unfortunately due to physical health, cannot get up off the floor from a mat so they do have to wait for a bed.” They have about 100 mats at the women’s shelter and 150 at the men’s center and Gregory says most are put to use every night.
There are several reasons they are seeing an increase of those in need. Gregory says, “Some of it is pertaining to the lack of safe, affordable housing in the community. We have seen an increase in domestic violence victims seeking safe shelter with us. At the same time we are dealing with some severe mental health issues in our community. With not enough mental health beds at our hospitals, many of those vulnerable populations are ending up on our doorstep.” They are also seeing more women escaping from prostitution and sex trafficking.
The Open Door Mission serves 2,700 meals daily to the homeless and near homeless. Their GED and recovery programs are full. Gregory says they are stretching one dollar into three but there are some real issues going on in the community and they are struggling to make ends meet.
Those wishing to contribute funds can do so at opendoormission.org.