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

  • 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 […]

  • YOUTH ART: TREY

    About Trey: Trey came to Youth Emergency Services to find a better life for himself. After staying with his cousin for awhile, he left when he refused to drop out of school at her request. He had nowhere else to turn and very little resources available to him. That’s when he learned about YES. Trey says, […]

  • OMAHA GIVES

    Last Wednesday, May 21, was Omaha’s second annual Omaha Gives! day. Youth Emergency Services participated, and everyone was so surprised and overwhelmed by the community support. This year, YES had set a goal to raise $15,000. Our supportive donors exceeded our expectations and raised over $17,000! That amount is almost double the amount raised last […]

  • New Shelter Bathroom

    With so many youth coming and going at the YES Emergency Shelter, it’s no surprise that it would need an update sooner or later. The First United Methodist Church of Springfield has graciously helped YES to make that update a reality. After taking a look at the before pictures, it’s easy to see why they […]