31 January 2011

Humbled To Join The Team

Did you know that each of our staff has a love and passion for Christ, the people we serve, our donors, volunteers, and the unfortunate that have yet to make it through our doors? Our staff ranges from program graduates, to past Board members, to ordained ministers and more-- all committed not only to serving the hungry and homeless but to preventing homelessness. In fact our Board of Directors, Leadership and staff pray for and work towards seeing an end to homelessness one day.

As a newer member of the team, since my start in September, I must admit that I am genuinely honored and humbled to work alongside such devoted and faithful professionals. So arrange for a tour today to see the great work they do for yourself and remember that our doors are always open.

God’s blessings & favor be on you always,
Victoria Gaskin, Executive Assistant

Make a difference in the lives of others by donating your gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Donations can be dropped off at our receiving area now located on the east side of the Timberlake Outreach Center, 2107 E Locust St

· Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
· Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Interested in hosting a drive for new items? Contact Maggie here.

Sign up to Volunteer here.

28 January 2011

Success Story from the Wellness Connection Program!

From the Wellness Connection, a program to help men who have mental health and / or physical health problems. Jeremy is a young man of 26, who has been on disability since the age of majority because of congenital health problems as well as anxiety disorder. He came to the Mission because of outstanding college debt but no degree.

Jeremy spent nine months in the program, working a part-time job out in the Millard area, spending over two hours in travel time, three days a week, so he could pay down his debt. There were many times Jeremy was ready to give-up and quit. But as we prayed and met weekly for case management, Jeremy was able to keep focus of his goals.

Life is hard, and the consequences of our actions often magnify the difficulties of this life. But through Christ we can endure and achieve all that God has for us (Philippians 4:13). Since the first of the year, Jeremy has been able to move out and be closer to his job, and is commitment to trusting God to accomplish his goals in life.

John Lindsey

26 January 2011

Celebration Education is next week

Good Afternoon,

It has been busy the few weeks here at the Lydia House. It is a new year with new activities and new events. Our Lydia House volunteers have been busy with starting new bible classes, ladies aerobics, crafts & story nights with our 100 children and don’t forget hosting movie night with our families. There are so many ways you can reach out to our Lydia House women and families. We would love to fill up our calendar every day! Check out our web page at www.opendoormission.org for ways to give back 2 hours a month.

Next week is our Celebrate Education event where we will honor our children for their academic achievements. We will start the night with a fun dinner and end with the Omaha North Chore singing. All of our children will get certificates for their achievements and some will even get plaques for top honors. It is truly a blessing to see our children’s faces when their name is called, the step forward, and receive their certificate with the audience cheering them on. Our children so often go without any acknowledgement or encouragement in their academic pursuits. 50% of our homeless children change schools at least once during the school year and 76% will repeat their current grade in school. What an honor we have her at the Open Door Mission were we can place value on not only personal achievement but academics as well.

Thanks so much,

Charity Watts
Program Director

25 January 2011

The Blessings of the Timberlake Outreach Center

When you think of the Open Door Mission Timberlake Outreach Center what thoughts come to mind? If you answered a place that serves people in crisis and the near homeless you would be right. And, along with serving the people who come through our doors, we are also helping their children, through the gifts and donations you have provided for us.

Hundreds of children come through our doors each month to shop with their parents at our Kings Kloset. Many times, I will ask the children what they are hoping to get while shopping at our Outreach Center. I’m sure you can imagine the excitement that will fill the air as child after child announces what they hope to get while shopping. Here’s what a few said:

  • Jacob stated "I am going to shop for a pair of shoes," and he found a pair just his size.
  • Shelby stated "I like the Open Door Mission because I get nice clothes, shoes and toys." She further stated, "its fun to shop here.
  • Her mother Roxanne said, "I have been coming here for the last three months and it is helping our family stretch our income during these tough economic times."
  • Little Naing had a big smile as he showed me his basket of toys and stickers
  • Noraha was walking a bike out the door and I asked him who the bike was for? He gave me a big smile and said "my sister."

I feel so blessed as I watch families who are in extreme crises and the near homeless receive needed items they could not afford if they couldn’t shop at the Timberlake Outreach Center. I hope you feel blessed also because we couldn’t do it without your gifts and donations. So thank you for partnering with us to help prevent homelessness.

Joyfully serving Jesus,
Judy Collins
Timberlake Outreach Center/ 2911 Success Net Director

24 January 2011

Sharing the Love of Jesus

As a van driver, I am blessed to have daily opportunities to meet many people who stay at the Mission who are being cared for through the various programs that the Mission offers. These services consist of: emergency shelter for overnite men, and the Recovery Programs for men, women and families. Due to the generosity of our community, these services we provide, are completely free.

We are able to also provide free transportation, and how we help is by taking them downtown, or giving them bus tickets, which helps our clients to take care of needs such as doctor visits, getting to job sites. I believe the greatest part of my job is the freedom to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Sharing with our clients about how much God truly loves and cares for them is a privilege.

In the evenings, I also enjoy the blessing of being able to assist the Chapel Teams. These are committed and dedicated groups, churches,and various Chrsitian ministries, who come each evening to minister the love of Christ. They give our clients more opportunity to hear the Good News. I am indeed blessed to be on staff at the Open Door Mission.

Dave Eisheid

21 January 2011

Men Coming to know the King

Rey Rios is a new member of the Garland Thomson Men's Center staff. Everyday hungry and hurting men find their way to the Open Door Mission. There they are greeted with a smile from staff like Rey. Please read below this short little message from Rey on how God is working at the Men's Center

"I praise God for His work, God is moving and the harvest is ripe in the last 4 months 10 men have made confessions of faith many more have redicated their lives to Jesus, 1 muslim converted to follow Jesus instead of Allah (Willie).

Rey Rios

Matthew 28:18-20 (New King James Version)

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

20 January 2011

Thank you KBGI listeners

As I got out of my very warm car this morning at 5:15 am to be at the call center I was reminded how thankful that I am for heat. I know of many in the community that is not always possible.

I just want to personally say thank you to all the KGBI listeners who have called in over the last few days to help support Open Door Mission's "Winter Warm Up" Campaign. In the last 3 days Open Door Mission has seen over 660 men, women, and children be sponsored by various indiviudlas, famiiles, churches, and businesses in the community. Because of you making a difference right, right now those hungry and homeless men, women, and children have a warm safe place to put their head tonight and a hot, nutritious meal to eat.

As you are driving in your warm cars around town this winter please remember that when you see a homeless person out in the cold you can always give Open Door Mission a call at 422-1111 and ask for the men's staff on duty. They will go out and find that homeless person and bring them to the Open Door Mission where they will recieve that hot, nutritious meal, and that night of safe warm shelter.

Thanks for making a difference right here, right now in your community!

James Cummings
Public Relations Coordinator

19 January 2011

Praising God for His Blessings

I came back to work this week after being gone for a month. While part of that time was great-a Caribbean cruise with my sister-the rest was a testing of my faith. I found out I have invasive cancer-only stage 2 so that is good. First let me say that without the support of my family and friends, especially the Open Door Mission family I would not be as strong as I need to be to face this battle. The joy of being a part of the family of God is knowing you are not alone.

Even though my world has been turned upside down and tossed about I am very lucky-I have my Lord, I have a supportive family, I have a job and I have a home. For the clients we serve; most of that, if not all of that; is lacking in their lives. They are homeless, unable to provide for even the most basic of needs such as shelter, food and clothing. Some have family and friends but many do not, especially family and friends that don’t “use and/or abuse” them in some way. Then add to that mix a chronic or life threatening illness. I can not even begin to comprehend the despair in their lives. I cannot imagine the loneliness of not having the family of God there with me.

At Open Door Mission we can meet their basic needs thanks to donations of food, clothing and money (it is always nice to have the heat or air conditioning on and toilets flushing).Various volunteers help by teaching classes and fixing or serving meals. But we also need volunteers to share the gospel, pray with the clients, and to come and share the hope in Christ-the peace of knowing that God is in control even when their world seems to be spinning out of control. You can bring hope to lives of others at Open Door Mission. Can your church provide a “chapel team” or choir to share some evening? Can you bake a batch of cookies to share while you read and play games with children? Can you open cans and slice veggies for a hot meal? Can you sort clothing and other donations so clients can shop for “free” at the Timberlake Outreach Center? Can you lead a Bible study or teach a class? Can you organize a drive for basic needs? Are you willing to reach out and give hope to a life in despair? Are you ready to make a difference in someone’s and receive a blessing in yours? Call the Open Door Mission, we have a place for you to serve and be blessed.

18 January 2011

Being in the Background

Working and volunteering at the Open Door Mission helps a person to get a good understanding of background. Background music, noise, people, activities, programs, and even software happens all the time around us. We take for granted that someone organized all those shelves in the supermarket. We sometimes (but not so much recently) forget those people who go out and clear the roads before us. It slips our minds how much people in other departments make our job easier. Background music and noises in motion pictures help bring power and realism. We forget the power of the background.

God calls us as Christians to be in the background. We are not to do anything for the eyes of men, but only for the vision of the Father. We look unto heaven for His approval and satisfaction, not to those around us. Many of our volunteer opportunities here at Open Door Mission emphasize that. Today a group of 40 volunteers sorted 10,000 pounds of food in our warehouse. This is a background job. These people don’t get to see the impact they are having on the services and programs here at the mission. They get to see food going into this box and that box, but not the life change that happens when a family in need is provided with Food to sustain them. People hanging up Clothes and organizing donations in the Timberlake Outreach Center don’t always get a chance to witness the blessing it is to people. BUT THEY DO IT ANYWAY.

I guess I am writing this to say thank you. Thank you to all the people out there who just "do." You don’t “do” to be seen, or to get something, but you just “do”. It is not only a blessing because the background stuff is getting done, it is a blessing because your attitude is an encouragement. It helps to prod and urge me to remember God’s calling for us to be servants and slaves. The servant doesn’t get credit for the feast laid out before the guests, it is the Master. Thank you for all your help volunteers, you enable the Missions ministries in so many ways.

Taylor Clinch

17 January 2011

Martin Luther King Volunteers

Open Door Mission is so thankful for the over 300 volunteers that spend valuable time on the Open Door Mission Campus today. Because of these volunteers, we are able to get alot accomplished. Below are just a few photos of some of the things that went on today.

Here are volunteers that helped stuff and putting
on the stamps on almost 30,000 letters.

thanHere are volunteers at the Timberlake Outreach Center who helped sort clothes, organized and stacked the shelves so low income families and individuals can come supplement their income, empowering them to remain in the own homes and prevent homelessness.

Here are volunteers who wer in the kitchen helping serve the hot, nutritious meals to many hungry and homeless men, women, and childre. Open Door Mission is serving more than 1,700 hot, nutritious meals daily.

You can make a difference right here, right now in your community. Just 2 hours a day each month and you can give 1 day to the Open Door Mission. Please visit www.opendoormission.org and click on the volunteer button to see how you can have a life changing volunteering oppourtunity today.

15 January 2011

Volunteers Needed!

I give so many tours of our facility, and what I hear most often from the good folks who take the time to see what Open Door Mission is all about is, "I had no idea". So many still believe that we are simply a shelter for the homeless. Too many don’t know about our life changing programs and services for men, women and children. They don’t know about our open invitation for anyone who is hungry to come join us for dinner. The other thing so many don’t seem to know is about the wide variety of services we provide by God’s grace, through the Timberlake Outreach Center . Those services help thousands of people who simply have too much month at the end of their money.

The Timberlake Outreach Center looks and operates like any thrift store, except we have no cash register! The gently used items, graciously donated by a caring public, are placed on our racks and shelves where they can be picked up and taken home by our shoppers. With donations coming in every day, and literally thousands of shoppers each month, you can imagine our need for help in Sorting, Organizing and Shelving inside the Timberlake Outreach Center We have wonderful volunteers wor king constantly in the Timberlake Outreach Center and other areas around Open Door Mission , but we need more help. Several times each month we could really use the help of church or civic organizations to come down with large groups of volunteers to spend a few hours so we can keep the Timberlake Outreach Center clean, organized, and ready for shoppers who depend on us to be there for them. If you are part of such a group and would like to come be a part of God’s blessing to the homeless, nearly homeless, and working poor right here in Omaha , please give me a call at 829-1504.

We are huge supporters of the mission field, but please remember that you and your friends can be missionaries right here in Omaha by volunteering at Open Door Mission!!

I smile and thank God every day for letting me do what I do. Thanks to all of you for being a big part of my smile!!

Cris Morris
Volunteer/Partner Director

14 January 2011

A day at the Timberlake Outreach Center

I have had the privilege of working in the volunteer department for the last few months and I just want to tell you it has been awesome getting to work with lots of different volunteers that have a heart for the people we serve.

I get to take phone calls and answer emails from lots of great church and youth groups, families, individuals and businesses that want to bless the folks we serve in many different ways. We have a lot of different volunteer opportunities available for everyone and if you have not been to the Open Door Mission’s Volunteer Orientation, you should come. We get to tell you all about the different programs available to the men, women and children we serve and we take you on a tour of our facilities.

Most people that come to orientation are shocked to see the bigger picture of what we do here at the Open Door Mission. I would challenge the folks out there that want to serve others and haven’t had the opportunity to come down to do it this year!

Check out our website at www.opendoormission.org and fill out a volunteer application and then sign up for orientation. We would love to tell you all about what we do here and how YOU can be a part of the bigger picture! You can also call us at 829-1504 with any questions you may have!

Amy Harvey

12 January 2011


I spent Friday with the Men in our New Life Recovery Program. These are men dedicated to bringing positive change in their lives. I was impressed with the humility, faith, and humor exhibited by the class members. They are humble as they each acknowledge the destructive power that alcohol and/or drug addiction has wreaked in their lives. But, it is inspiring as they speak about the life changing power of God they are experiencing. Finally, it is a fun group as laughter breaks out with regularity since humor is needed in the midst of their challenging journey seeking change.

The commitment each of the men maintains is reflected in the schedule they actively participate in. Here’s a quick overview of Friday.

7 a.m. Breakfast;
8 a.m. Devotions;
8:30 a.m. Anger Management;
9:30 a.m. Men & Emotions;
10:30 a.m. Freedom from Addiction;
11:30 a.m. Lunch;
Noon Men’s 12 Step Program;
1 p.m. Nicotine Cessation;
2 p.m. Nutrition;
3 p.m. Healthy Lifestyles

I left them for the day at 4 p.m. so I missed dinner at 6 p.m. followed by the Nightly Meeting for all Program Men at 7 p.m. with chapel scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and house maintenance chores being completed at 9 p.m. before lights out at 10:30 p.m.

Open Door Mission is all about breaking the cycle of homelessness, poverty and addiction one person at a time. Please keep each of the men and women enrolled in our programs in your prayers as they seek new life in Christ.

Scott P. Shreve
Senior Development Officer

11 January 2011

An Epic Journey

This time last year, I was trying to describe to Philip, our OPS tutor, what our new Lydia House building looked like and would mean to the women and families that we serve at Lydia House. I started to list: how the building was huge, beautiful, secure, had family efficiency units and four common kitchens to foster family life and life skills, units available would increased by 162%, we would not have time limits, his learning center would triple in size, and it would … Philip stopped me and said it would be EPIC. I had not heard that word often, unless in a movie trailer, I guess it is now commonly used among the younger folkJ, but he was right on. Epic: very impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale); "an epic voyage"; "of heroic proportions".

It has been an epic journey this last year. On January 25, 2010 our first thirty units were filled and since then, we have served 252 families and single women. The time has been filled with long purposeful days as our staff adjusted to providing services to more women and families, taking care of this larger building, staffing changes, opening an additional crisis center, and an increase in volunteers and events. Truly all that have donated, volunteered, or worked here this past year have been heroic!

My role at Lydia House, along with our office manager Korina’s assistance, is to manage people moving in and out and to push all the paper that is required J We work to get people in crisis moved in as soon as possible and to be sure that those on our waiting list have access to our Timberlake Outreach Center’s services. The best part of this is being one of the first to tell someone about Christ’s love for them! It is an honor to met with someone in crisis and be able to say yes we can help and for as long as you need us. We do not have time limits at Lydia House – as long as a person is able to follow our guidelines and make progress on their individual goals – this is their home. Many have a hard time understanding this welcome and become emotional as they realize that the crisis of housing and the stress of survival is over. It has been amazing to see how meeting this need of housing has impacted those we serve. Two lives changed this year that come to mind.

A young mother of two pre-schoolers had lived in a secret domestic violence marriage for years, only after moving in with her spouse, did she finally feel safe to tell a staff and with the help of Catholic Charities was able to have him leave the home. She is now free to be active in church, ESL classes, counseling, and working towards providing for her family. This hard process could not have been accomplished in just a few months – she has lived with us a year now.
A single woman has lived with us for several months now. That might not seem too impressive, except that for the last ten years that we have know her, because of her mental health issues, she would only stay with us a night or two at a time. Then go back out to the streets where she lived a very dangerous life falling victim often to horrible crimes. She now has a private single women’s room and with that privacy feels comfortable to come home each night. Slowly staff are introducing her to community mental health services, but our main goal is that she feels valued and trusts to comes home to safety each night.

It has been a great year and so look forward to 2011 as we welcome and serve women and families that come to our door. Only though our Christ and the people he sends to support us with their time, talent, and treasures will this continue – Thank you for joining us in this Epic journey!

10 January 2011

Snow Day!!!!

There are lots of happy children today and maybe even some adults that were happy this morning when they got up and knew they did not have to go to school because of a snow day. As I sit here in my office and watch the snow fall and pile up and can't stop thinking of many hungry and homeless men, women, and children that are out in the snowy weather today because they don't have anywhere to go. If you see a homeless person on the streets in this unpleasant weather know that the Open Door Mission is here to help them. Open Door Mission will provide, free shuttle services from downtown, free hot, nutritious meals, free shower, and free shelter. Just call 422-1111.

Also with this snowy weather, Open Door Mission is in need of hats, gloves, scarves, fleece blankets and space heaters. If you would like to schedule your winter warm up drive please visit http://www.opendoormission.org/ for more information.

04 January 2011

Open Door Mission is so grateful for a generous donor in the community that provide a semi truck loaded with food pantry boxes and personal hygiene products. This will help to empower low income families and individuals in the community to remain in their own homes and prevent homelessness.
Please look at some of the photos that were taken today and share them with your friends. You can also go to the Open Door Missions facebook page and see more photos from this event at http://www.facebook.com/#!/OpenDoorMission

03 January 2011

You can make a difference Right Here, Right Now

As 2011 has begun and people are looking to make a difference right here, right now. I want to share something with you that you can do this year that will make a difference in the community.

Open Door Mission is looking for volunteers that would commit to 2 hours a month in 2011. That means that when 2011 is over you will have volunteered for an entire day. Here are just a few life changing volunteer opportunities that you can do in just 2 hours.

  • You can help serve a meal as Open Door Mission serves more than 1,700 hot, nutritious meals to many hungry and homeless men, women and children.

  • You can help sort clothes, organize and stock the shelves so low income families and individuals can come supplement their income empowering them to remain in their own homes and prevent homelessness.

  • You can come help put together Hygiene packets so we can pass these out to new families and individuals come into the Open Door Mission and Lydia House.

These are just a few of the different opportunities where you can have a life changing volunteer experience. Please visit http://www.opendoormission.org/ and click on the volunteer button and see how you can make a difference right here, right now.