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

  • MERRY MEALS

    The holidays are a time of giving. Many people give the gift of time, money, and food. Fortunately for the youth YES serves at the Street Outreach Center, local businesses and companies have been going the extra mile to make sure they have a warm meal this month. It began with a challenge by locally owned […]

  • YOUTH ART: CAELI

    Art provides an outlet for many of the emotions youth in our program are facing. Below are two pieces by Caeli, a youth in YES’ programs.

  • #MORETHANJUSTANUMBER

    November is National Homeless Youth Awareness month. To spread the word about Youth Emergency Services and the work YES is doing to end youth homelessness in Omaha, we are asking all of our followers, supporters, and donors to sign up for Thunderclap. What is Thunderclap? Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard […]

  • NEW WHEELS

    Hi! My name is Felicia, and I am going to explain how dedication and hard work helped me buy my first car.   Two years ago, I joined a program called Opportunity Passport. This program is for anyone who has been a former ward of the state. Opportunity Passport helps former wards by matching any money saved to help those […]