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2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winner: Nebraska

Best Practice: New Creations Transitional Housing Program

Program Provides Transitional Housing, Substance Abuse Treatment and Other Support Services to Homeless

Omaha, Nebraska. Reverend Jeremiah McGhee, a pastor from the Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Omaha, Nebraska, developed the New Creations Transitional Housing Program, which provides housing and treats the chronically addicted homeless. To date, the program has resulted in 33 families moving to permanent housing, creation of 28 units of transitional housing and reduced calls to police reporting criminal activity.

The need for transitional housing was intense, says McGhee. “As we did our work, we continued to meet individuals who were

Mike Saklar receiving award from Secretary Cuomo & Deputy Secretary Ramirez
Mike Saklar (c) receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)

unemployed, who lacked an adequate education and who were, in many instances, chronically addicted to alcohol and drugs,” he says. “In addition, and to further complicate things, many were homeless. So we set out to help these people, to help them find work and treatment and, in the end, decent, affordable housing for themselves and their families.”

To be admitted to the program, clients must complete a short-term substance abuse treatment regimen and demonstrate at least 90 days of sobriety, in addition to being employed or actively seeking employment. To remain in the program, clients must attend peer group meetings as well as individual and group therapy sessions and remain employed. In conjunction with the Siena/Francis House and the Omaha Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless, a host of other services are provided for program participants. These include extensive and multifaceted chemical dependency counseling, job preparation and training, transportation and medical services, child care services, dispute resolution, domestic abuse counseling and independent living opportunities.

Although New Creations exists to help homeless individuals and families make the difficult transition from emergency shelters to permanent housing, its particular focus is on those homeless individuals who have a long history of drug and alcohol abuse. Prior to the establishment of New Creations, the Omaha area lacked a transitional housing facility devoted to this sub-population of the homeless. New Creations provides a therapeutic community anchored to case management and counseling for chemical dependency. The program gives individuals the opportunity to be reunited with their families, maintain their sobriety and continue their progress toward self-sufficiency and permanent housing.

Caseworkers work with residents to set goals regarding job training, education, income and personal growth. Each individual’s goals are tracked through weekly target sessions with peer support groups or the individual resident’s caseworker. Under the direction of a program director for chemical dependency recovery, the program takes a holistic approach to help each person achieve his or her full potential.

Contact: Mike Saklar, Phone: (402) 444-5170
Tracking Number: 921
Winning Category: Geographic

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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