After leading Youth Emergency Services (YES, the past four-plus months as interim executive director, Kalisha Reed was named the organization’s permanent executive director by the YES board of directors May 24. Reed stepped in for Mary Fraser Meints, who left the organization, January 3.

“We’re so excited to have Kalisha accept the permanent executive director position,” said YES Board President Kellie Harry. “She, along with the leadership team, have done a fantastic job during her short time as interim ED. We’re looking forward to seeing where she continues to lead the organization.”

During her time leading YES, Reed, along with the leadership team, has:
• Re-established connections within the community
• Doubled the bed capacity of the organization’s emergency shelter
• Filled key positions/roles within the organization to more efficiently and effectively serve youth
• Taken steps to improve overall organizational culture

She joined the YES team in October 2021 as the director of program services after serving as the executive director of Right Turn, which closed services in September of that year. During her time at Right Turn, Reed managed a budget of nearly $2 million, and developed and implemented a strategic plan to increase monthly referrals by 10%.

Prior to that, Reed served for five years with Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC), first as the behavior health clinical manager/therapist and the final four years as the director of therapy operations. She also worked as a therapist and counselor with CHI Health, Heartland Family Service; Boys Town; and Girls, Inc. of Omaha.

Reed holds two master’s degrees—one in organizational performance and the other in clinical counseling—from Bellevue University, where she has been an adjunct instructor since 2018. Her bachelor’s degree is in pre-law with a minor in business from the College of Saint Mary. She is an advisor and board member of the Pre-Law Program at the College of Saint Mary as well as a member and mental health community liaison for the South Omaha Community Care Council.

Youth Emergency Services is the only nonprofit in Omaha with the sole mission to help homeless and near-homeless youth in our community. YES offers a full continuum of care to ensure all youth receive the support they need, no matter their situation. This includes a Street Outreach Center, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living Program, Prevention, Rapid Rehousing, Transition in Place (TIP), and Maternity Group Home. Learn more at