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Positively the Heartland: Omaha Home For Boys reflects on 100 years

Celebration keynote will be by NFL standout and Michael Orr of The Blind Side
Posted at 7:25 AM, Feb 16, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Home For Boys' 100-year celebration has been twice delayed, but the organization is ready and able to celebrate the milestone. As a partner in that event, KMTV's Mary Nelson visited OHB's campus to connect its history with what's on the horizon.

Now a 32-year-old married father of two, active duty soldier and Special Olympics employee, Jeff Landholt's life was shaped in large part to time spent at OHB.

"You never know somebody's story until you get to know them," he said.

Jeff and his four sisters were sexually and physically abused before being taken by the state. Ultimately split up, Jeff was placed in 15 foster homes within seven years, then, adopted by a single mom who recognized Jeff needed skills and stability that OHB could provide.

"The structure was key," he recalled.

"Every single day, you woke up, you had breakfast and it was a good breakfast. You went to school, came home, did your homework — you had to sit at the table. If you were involved in sports, you had to make sure you maintained grades in order to go and do those sports. So, the structure was 100% key."

OHB President and CEO Jeff DeWispelare described Jeff's story as one of the organization's all-time best. He also explained how their longevity is closely tied to agility.

"The kids change, the needs change, the community changes, so we have to be ready to fill whatever gap it is," DeWispelare said.

Programs have evolved from OHB's roots as an orphanage to include clinical services, which began a few years ago.

Chief Program Officer Brandy Gustoff described the newest program — crisis stabilization — which launched last year.

"It's a very intense program, so they have a therapist," she said.

"They have groups that they're doing throughout the day. It's very structured. We're just trying to work with the whole family unit so that we can get them back home and functioning the best way possible."

DeWispelare said they continue to follow the community's lead on what's needed next, as they maintain their mission: Transform a life. Strengthen a community.

NFL standout and the man whose life story inspired The Blind Side, Michael Oher, is the keynote speaker at the Omaha Home For Boys 100 Year Celebration on March 8th at CHI Health Center.

For tickets, tables and sponsorships to the lunchtime event, visit https://ohb.org/events/100/ .

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