OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — An organization in South Omaha is partnering with other groups to ensure the community in that area can move forward.
Helping resources connect: that's the goal of the South Omaha Community Care Council (SOCC).
"It's a collection of wide-ranging businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and individuals that are physically and financially invested in the health, success and well-being of the South Omaha community," said Mike Kraus, Community Commitment Coordinator at Methodist Health System.
"People wanted to connect. People wanted to have resources and they wanted to have opportunities to find those resources," said Gina Ponce of Bellevue University.
“So we meet every other month. Pre-COVID it was in person. We had anywhere from 35-90 people in a room at St. Luke's down at 23rd and I. And it was a very informal networking event...and just serve as a one-stop-shop for organizations and people to communicate with each other and find those common areas of interest,” said Kraus.
It's a warehouse of collaboration with the intention to help South Omaha residents move forward. There is an emphasis on education, advocacy, and healthcare.
“The connection between Methodist Health System and OneWorld Health Community Centers. Almost a decade ago, the two organizations collaborated and one of them asked if they could get help with flu shots. And the Methodist representatives said, ‘Hey I think I can help you out with that. That has grown to over a $30,000 annual investment from Methodist that provides free flu shots, buys them, and delivers them. To not just OneWorld now. We give them to Charles Drew Health Centers, we give them to North Omaha area health clinics,” Kraus added.
Gina Ponce with Bellevue University said she's been attending for nearly 25 years since it started. It has helped her make a difference with youth.
“When I go, I talk about all the scholarships that we have available, I talk about the things that Bellevue University offers that maybe some of the other institutions don't offer and then those resources that are there and tell the families that they serve and that's how I've gotten many Latino students to come to Bellevue University on scholarship because of that connection,” said Ponce