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(November 20, 2018)

Construction is now underway on a new Siena/Francis House shelter designed to enhance service programming, improve security and provide a more dignified shelter within the Omaha community.  

“I thank all who have played a part in our effort to bridge the philanthropic community with this significant community need,” said Heritage Services Board of Director-Campaign Chairman Dan Neary. “Every day, Siena/Francis House feeds, clothes, shelters and offers an array of services to Omaha’s neediest residents. This new facility is vital to our region.”

Siena/Francis House is an inclusive shelter facility that offers compassion and care to all, including those battling mental illness and chronic addiction, according to Linda Twomey, Executive Director of Siena/Francis House. Beyond sheltering homeless single men and women, Siena/Francis provides case management services, free addiction treatment with transitional housing, permanent supportive housing for disabled and chronically homeless individuals as well as a meal program that provides about 1,100 meals per day.   

“The new facility is not an expansion in terms of square footage, but it will allow us to better serve the homeless and near-homeless,” said Linda Twomey. “One of the most visible changes will be that we’ll have beds for all clients.” Twomey added that the new shelter will allow Siena/Francis House to better meet the diverse needs of each individual client.

The new Siena/Francis shelter will include:

  • A men's dorm in the shelter with 350 beds and a women's dorm with 100 beds. Additionally, there are private rooms for those requiring this level of shelter.
  • An improved building flow that easily connects individuals with staff to ensure they receive needed services, focused housing assistance with linkage to health and mental health care as well as income and employment benefits.  
  • Dedicated office space for housing and case management services.
  • Separate, secure entrances for men and women.
  • Increased number of restroom facilities.
  • An improved kitchen and dining area.

“Omaha’s philanthropic community is laying the foundation for a shelter that will last,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. “In partnership with the city, Heritage Services is thinking about tomorrow and helping provide a shelter that will better serve our community.”  

The new shelter is being funded through an $18.9 million capital campaign led by Heritage Services. The City of Omaha has allocated $2.5 million in support of the project. 

“The funding of this capital investment is an example of the unparalleled philanthropic support of the Omaha community. It truly is something to celebrate,” said Beth Ochsner, Project Director, on behalf of Heritage Services Board of Directors.  

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