Our 140th anniversary year is quickly coming to a close on October 27, when we were organized in 1875 in the “parlors of First Methodist Church.” Our first office, then known as the Omaha City Mission and located at 1421 Douglas Street, was described as follows in a history of our agency recorded in 1905:
Situated in the center of the vilest slums of this city, surrounded on every side by degradation, poverty and crime in all its hideous phases, almost hidden from public view by a high board fence, stands an unpretentious frame building known to habitués and frequenters of the slums as the Omaha City Mission.
So much has changed in the last 140 years for our community, our agency, and our views on poverty. And while many of the issues we were originally created to address remain: addiction, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and sexual assault, homelessness, juvenile delinquency, mental health, and neighborhood distress, our efforts to treat the root causes of these social problems have become more precise and better informed by research and science.
Look for exciting new initiatives this year as we continue to move the dial on creating sustained change that increases the safety, self-sufficiency and well-being of the people we serve and our community. And know, these successes would not be possible without you — our generous donors and dedicated volunteers.