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

  • November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

    “It is easier to build young children than to repair broken men” – Frederick Douglass We greatly appreciate you taking the time to learn more about youth homelessness and checking out our blog. This is made possible by the hard work and dedication of Youth Emergency Services’ Youth Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of […]


    For a couple of months, Plant One More has been partnering with Youth Emergency Services to provide fresh, homegrown produce to the youth served by YES. YES youth have been excited to receive this generous, weekly gift, and YES wanted to share the story of how this program came to be. We checked in with […]


    It is rare to find such positive trends towards such a large scale issue as the extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy in the United States.  According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned pregnancy, since the early 1990s, teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United State have declined by 52% and 57% […]

  • Girl Scouts Giving Back

    Wendy Hamilton, Fund Development Director with Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, contacted Youth Emergency Services (YES) in early November with a simple request: she had a group of dedicated young ladies eager to serve their community, and wanted to give back to YES during the holiday season. The best part? The girls indicated that instead of […]