Throughout the month of May, thousands of people advocate for mental health awareness and education. This Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to spotlight one of our nonprofit partners Stephen Center, located in Omaha, NE. This nonprofit “partners with individuals, families, and the community to overcome homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health challenges.” The organization’s goals involve transforming lives by inspiring hope and creating pathways to success. ReEmployAbility had the opportunity to get some first-hand insight into Stephen Center and all the amazing work contributed by volunteers, staff, and Transition2Work participants, from Community Engagement Director Beth Ellis.

HERO: A CARF-Accredited Program

As everyone may face mental health challenges at some point in their life, it is crucial now more than ever, to have resources available to assist those in need. Stephen Center has assisted individuals in Omaha since 1984, gradually expanding to provide better opportunities to thousands of people facing homelessness and substance abuse. Typically, physical and mental challenges go hand-in-hand. Stephen Center recognizes that impact, and through the implementation of its HERO program, the organization is able to provide services to those who are dually diagnosed with both substance abuse and mental illness.

The organization’s recent CARF re-accreditation in its treatment facility has allowed Stephen Center to continue to provide the best quality care possible. CARF is an accrediting body meaning that a CARF-accredited service provider has applied the CARF set of standards for quality to their business and service delivery practices. For those being served, the CARF-accredited service provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, and respecting the preferences of individuals (cultural or otherwise). It also shows that the accredited organization values the feedback and input of its clients and is accountable to the community. A notable and important accomplishment for Stephen Center and its patrons.

Mental Health

Stephen Center Programs

Emergency Shelter

The Stephen Center Pettigrew Emergency Shelter is a substance-free facility assisting men, women, and families in dorm-like shelter units. The nonprofit provides meals to its residents three times per day, seven days per week.

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Health, Empowerment, Responsibility & Opportunity (H.E.R.O) Program

The HERO Program provides substance abuse treatment for low-income homeless individuals. This state-licensed, nationally accredited facility utilizes evidence-based practices and client-focused care.

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Permanent Supportive Housing

The Stephen Center PSH apartments offer single-room occupancy plus one, two, and three-bedroom apartment rentals for individuals and families seeking to live in a supportive, sober-living community. Services include case management and life skills education.

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Donation Center

Stephen Center collects in-kind donations to support operational needs, as well as provide gently-used items to individuals and families exiting the nonprofit to their new homes.

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Transforming Lives with Transition2Work

Transition2Work partners injured workers with local nonprofits, completing modified light-duty work while they recover. Transition2Work participants give back to the community while building relationships that have a meaningful impact during their recovery.

Through ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program, Stephen Center has been able to meet its demand for more volunteers and receives the assistance needed in order to further fulfill the organization’s mission. Beth supports this claim by stating, “Stephen Center has benefited in great ways from this partnership. Having light-duty workers assigned to our entryways and front doors allows for staff to be able to have more time to meet the needs of those we serve.” With Transition2Work’s diverse group of participants, Stephen Center is able to utilize the knowledge and skill set of a variety of injured participants from different backgrounds. Many of the injured participants appreciate the new experience and resonate with the great work the organization does for the community they serve. Beth stated, “I have seen several workers come through and fall in love with Human Service work.”

Supporting mental health

An Important Cause Supporting Mental Health

As an Emergency Homeless Shelter, Stephen Center is a very diverse facility serving those with higher levels of mental and physical disabilities as well as those seeking recovery from substance use. The Transition2Work participants are able to support Stephen Center wherever they are needed at the start of the process towards the life transformation of the nonprofit’s patrons. Beth describes this process as, “something so wonderful to see.” She goes on to say, “We are glad that we get to have others from our community on the front lines of our programming to witness this.”

The most important message Beth would like to leave on behalf of Stephen Center is, “for people to know about Stephen Center and its mission is that we truly believe in meeting people where they are at, we truly believe in raising up leaders, and we truly believe we are on the path to ending homelessness one individual at a time.”

Click the link if you would like to learn more about Stephen Center and all they do for their community!