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Open Door Mission cutting back on services, in 'dire need' for volunteers

Posted at 6:33 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 07:33:08-05

OMAHA, Nebraska (KMTV) — For nearly 70 years Open Door Mission has been committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The nonprofit offers shelter, beds, meals, clothing, and homeless preventive resources.

Now they are being forced to cut back.

Open Door Mission announced that starting Tuesday they will be cutting hours at the Timberlake Outreach Center in Omaha and the Elkhorn Outreach Center. The new hours will now be Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While the Council Bluffs Outreach Center will remain closed indefinitely.

This is all coming because of the dire need for volunteers that they are facing. Now they are asking the community to help them help those in need.

“We would really appreciate just a couple of hours a month,” Open Door Mission Chief Community Relations Officer Amy Harvey said. “If you can do two hours every month, that’s an entire 24 hours in a year that you worked on changing lives.”

Harvey says that they are very flexible when it comes to volunteering.

“When you come to volunteer you can self-schedule so you can pick your days, your hours, when you’re available, and what you want to do.”

Volunteers at the outreach centers will help hand out food from the pantry and will stock the shelves with clothing and other essentials to provide families with necessities for free, so that they can keep up with bills at home.

They say volunteer numbers were rising once again in the summer and early fall but have fallen off drastically in the last couple of months because of the surge in new covid cases.

“We don’t have people to hand out the food, we don’t have people to help us restock the shelves once people have shopped, so we had to reduce hours at the Outreach Centers until we can kind of get a grip on that. We only have so many staff and they’re busy checking people in and then doing all the stocking themselves and can’t keep up,” Harvey said. “We have plenty of donations we just can’t get it stocked fast enough to keep up with the need of people coming through the door, and that’s hard to hear.”

Donation drop-off areas at the Timberlake Outreach Center and Elkhorn Outreach Center remain open Tuesday - Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. for donations.

If you are interested in volunteering, click here.