Community Based Assistance Programs Help Low Income Families

By: Cassie Anderson Email
By: Cassie Anderson Email

The Good Neighbor Community Center is just one of many organizations across Nebraska dedicated to helping those who have a hard time helping themselves
"It is so awesome to see how many come in all the time and are able to get things they don't have that they need," SNAP Coordinator, Stephanie Halvorsen said.

Halvorsen helps clients apply for food stamps, medicaid and other programs.

"I can help families come in and walk through that process because after the initial application you do online, there's also an over the phone interview," Halvorsen said.

Programs like Good Neighbor can help families before a situation gets out of control. The first step is just walking through the doors.

"If the family were in here to use our pantry or closet lots of times we will do a 10 minute interview," Halvorsen said.

The Good Neighbor Center offers basis need services, including a food pantry, clothing store and diapers. Clients can shop at the clothing store once every 60 days and pick out food in the pantry once a month. Parents with children aged two and under can join the diaper club. Clients receive a certain number of diapers a month.

Good Neighbor serves thousands of people a year, many of them immigrants. That's where the Middle East and North Africa, or MEN Hope Project comes in.

"We try to give hope to people because a lot of people, when they come here, they are excited to come to the united states. Many had to leave their countries because of war," MENA Coordinator Zainab Al-Baaj said.

10 to 15 thousand people living in Lincoln are Middle Eastern. Al-Baaj is there to help them adjust to the new culture.

"We show them around. We take and application. We help them with paper work. We try to make it easier so they adjust a little bit better," Al-Baaj said.

By utilizing community based assistance programs, families help themselves and give their children the opportunity to succeed.

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