Heartland Family Service
Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has been the leader in creating the path to a better tomorrow for children and families in the metro area. With over 50 programs in our organization, we hand-craft an integrated, multi-service approach to guide our clients toward safety, well-being and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. We firmly believe that when life improves for one of us, life improves for all of us. We all matter.
Through more than 50 different programs, we serve more than 52,000 people annually from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
80 percent of our clients have annual incomes of $20,000 or less. We believe in and practice care, and we ask, "What has happened to you?" and not "What is wrong with you?" to each and every client that walks through our doors. Our expert staff and licensed therapists work with the individuals and their families in order to help them break damaging intergenerational cycles in order to become stable and self-sustaining.
Each year, Heartland Family Service provides essential services to some of our community's most vulnerable individuals and families of all ages - from the infants in our Family Works program to seniors in our Generations Center - in the following program areas:
CHILD & FAMILY WELL-BEING: These community centers and services span the entire lifespan. From early childhood education programming to therapeutic intervention for troubled teens to social and nutritional offerings for seniors, participants in our programs receive education and support today in order to have a brighter future.
COUNSELING & PREVENTION: Programs in this area share a central focus on therapeutic services in order to treat current mental health and substance abuse issues, manage chronic illnesses, and intervene earlier to limit occurrences through education and prevention services.
HOUSING, SAFETY, & FINANCIAL STABILITY: The major components of this program area are hardship assistance, housing, and supportive services. The goal is to provide immediate, as well as long-term survival assistance, including therapeutic support, to residents in our community who are experiencing issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, and financial crisis.
"In February of 2013, I had a domestic violence case. He tried killing me. I called Safe Haven and got into their domestic violence shelter. I felt this enormous weight just lifted off my shoulders. I didn't have to worry about if my kids were going to get hurt or if I was going to get hurt. I didn't have to worry about them being safe. Pretty much, (Heartland Family Service) saved my life."
"If I hadn't gone to therapy, I would probably still be drinking and having suicidal thoughts or even have gone through with it. Now I have thoughts of a brighter future. I wouldn't be able to do all of that if it wasn't for Heartland Family Service."
"My experience with Heartland Family Service was actually quite helpful. . . . My tracker began checking up on me wherever I was, and whenever. It was not only another motivation factor to keep me on the right track, but he also pushed me to complete my GED. He would also give me helpful advice that kept the house life drama to a minimum. Nobody would every 'want' a tracker, but my tracker really helped and motivated me to complete my goals."
"I have been a volunteer as a co-facilitator to a domestic violence support group since October 2007. As a survivor of domestic violence, I know the importance of having someone that victims can turn to and can hear the words, 'We believe you.' When you can witness a victim go from broken and lost to confident and positive, then it is a testimony to the help they receive."
- Barbara Brondum, Corporate Controller
Skarda Equipment Company, Inc./Controlled Motion Dynamics, Inc.
"I have been involved with Heartland Family Service for over 25 years, both in business and as a volunteer supporter. Year after year, I witness the agency provide human restoration by loving people who genuinely care about men, women, and children in our community. Clients who felt trapped, desperate, and hopeless are restored to stability and security because of the many Good Works of Heartland Family Service."
- Sheri Shonka, Principal
Public Risk Management, Inc.
"My life has changed because of my involvement with Heartland Family Service. I have learned so much about not only the challenges facing our community, but also about the amazing work that is being done to address those challenges. I have become more empathetic, and have begun to look for answers, rather than just to look for problems. The talented professionals who work at the agency and the selfless volunteers who give time, talent, and treasure all work hard to make Omaha the kind of place that we can all be proud to call home."
- Christine Olson, 2013-14 President
Heartland Family Service Friends Guild
The Iowa West Foundation has generously provided $20,000 in Challenge Funds to be shared by participating nonprofits it recognizes as being based in or providing services in Pottawattamie County five days per week or more and meeting their funding criteria. These funds will be distributed based on donations coming from Pottawattamie County.