Stephen Center Hosts CARE-a-van to Connect with Volunteers, Request Donations
Stephen Center (www.stephencenter.org) volunteers, friends, and community members participated in a Community CARE-a-van on May 5 to show support for people experiencing homelessness. A parade-style lineup was formed with the participant’s vehicles and driven through the campus to maintain social distancing. Participants decorated their cars with messages of hope for Stephen Center clients and staff. Clients lined the curbs to catch a glimpse of their friends, and held their own signs of appreciation.
Under usual circumstances, volunteers provide about 6,000 hours of work for the Stephen Center each month. Since March, that number dropped to an average of 1,000 hours to adhere to social-distancing requirements. In addition to performing helpful tasks, volunteers provide encouragement and emotional support to clients.
“Because of COVID-19 precautions, it had been several weeks since many of our volunteers had served at the Stephen Center,” Volunteer Coordinator Devon Lee said. “We miss our volunteers, and they miss clients and staff. This parade gave everyone an opportunity to reconnect.”
In addition, Stephen Center is accepting monetary donations to support the loss of nearly 5,000 volunteer hours in recent months, cover increasing costs relating to staffing, meals, janitorial supplies, hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, campus safety, and IT equipment needed to support telehealth and telework infrastructures.
Located in South Omaha, Stephen Center is a sober campus of resources for mental health and addiction services. The clients they serve are the homeless, addicted, and those living in poverty. Their campus includes a homeless emergency shelter, inpatient/outpatient co-occurring treatment, and permanent supportive housing for disabled and low-income individuals. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.stephencenter.org or call (402) 715-5442.