History

Who We Are


Youth Emergency Services (YES) was founded in 1974 by a group of community volunteers who noticed homeless youth hanging around in Omaha's Old Market district.

At first, YES was led strictly by volunteers -- they invited youth in crisis to stay in their homes. One morning, a volunteer woke to her kitchen cabinets being painted green, and the volunteers decided it was time to invest in a home, which became known as the YES house.

The YES house (known today as the Emergency Shelter) has been serving youth in crisis for nearly 40 years. As the organization and the need to serve homeless and at-risk youth has grown, so have YES' programs.

YES added its Street Outreach Program in 1999. This program is unique to YES as the only street outreach program in Omaha targeted specifically to homeless and runaway youth.

YES launched its Transitional Living Program (TLP) and Maternity Home in 2008. These programs help youth in crisis learn the life skills necessary to become independent and self-sufficient.

YES created a Mentoring Program to assist youth in its long-term programs. In 2012, YES expanded its Mentoring Program to create a partnership with Early Childhood Services, which serves teens and young parents.

In the past decade, YES has helped more than 5,800 youth escape a crisis situation. YES assisted more than 1,000 homeless and at-risk youth in 2012-13 alone. YES is the only organization in Omaha that focuses directly on helping runaway and homeless youth turn their lives around in a positive direction.

 

In the News

  • For years, you have been providing the support needed to keep the Youth Emergency Services’ shelter open as a safe place for homeless and at-risk youth. Today, the security homeless youth feel while staying at the shelter is in jeopardy without your help. With no other options, last year 75 youth sought alternative, unsafe housing […]

  • Anger flows thru my blood Depression lives in my thoughts Pain resigns in my heart Covered in scars from head to toe Vision blurred by trauma Hesitation and second guessing Trust has been broken The feeling of abandoned and used has become normal Have made footprints in the sand but have also been forgotten Made […]

  • What is Safe Place? Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people in need of immediate help and safety. As a community-based program, Safe Place designates businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to youth in communities across the country. Locations include: libraries, YMCA’s fire stations, […]

  • The nights I spent homeless left me feeling helpless and alone. I never imagined my life would be where it is now. Because of you, I have the security of knowing those dark days are behind me. Unfortunately, there are still hundreds of youth in our community facing homelessness every day. Youth Emergency Services never […]