Family Service Lincoln

The logo for Family Service Lincoln

Family Service Lincoln is committed to creating a new narrative for youth experiencing homelessness. Many of these young people believe a false narrative — a story that a successful, impactful, and fulfilling career path is out of reach or not for them. The Big Give, presented by UBT, will allow Family Service Lincoln (FSL) to jumpstart an education and career mentoring program called CareerOp, creating a new opportunity and mobility option for young people in the margins of Lincoln.

Family Service Lincoln, in collaboration with CEDARS Youth Services, Wellbeing Initiative, and Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, has been awarded two new housing programs designed to serve transition-age youth (aged 18-24) who are experiencing homelessness in Lincoln, Nebraska. These programs will address a critical need within our community and represent one of the most collaborative youth housing projects in our city's history. While the funding for housing is secured and will be renewed annually, providing a foundation for this program, our team knows that we cannot stop at just housing. Workforce development and career mobility are cornerstones of the success of this program and are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness in which many young people are caught.

Our CareerOp program will partner with local businesses to provide placement and mentor matching for participating youth. Here they will work side-by-side with industry professionals (mentors) who will model skills and behaviors specific to their career paths or interests. The mentor will also help develop and instill soft skills (traits that make a good worker, things like work ethic, organization, communication, collaboration, and leadership) and the hard skills to do a job effectively.

Corresponding with these placements, youth in programming will participate in a Career Readiness Course designed to address and instill the competencies needed to be a successful and dependable employee in the modern workforce. For example, if a youth has an interest in repairing bikes, program staff will contact local bike shops to solicit their interest and commitment to providing a career mentor for the assigned youth. If a participant has an interest in tool and dye making, he, she, or they will be matched with a mentor at a machine shop and, with the help of our staff, explore admission criteria and available scholarships to attend Southeast Community College's Precision Machining and Automation Technology program. 

This program is how we change the narrative and trajectory for youth overcoming the challenges of homelessness, equipping young people with the skillsets, confidence, and networks needed to succeed.

Back to Main Page

Thank you for making our community better

Thank you to every nonprofit who submitted an application for The Big Give. We're inspired by your ideas on how to improve our community. 

The Big Give Logo

The statements and information presented on this page are provided by the nonprofit organization and are not a representation of or associated with Union Bank & Trust.