For 30 years and counting, Matt Talbot has been an integral component of Lincoln's safety net for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or living in poverty. While other agencies in Lincoln serve the homeless and near homeless, Matt Talbot is exceptional as the only community kitchen with outreach and prevention services onsite to connect people to resources that take care of the whole person - providing beyond basic needs to embolden people to have hope.
The BOLD HOPE EXPANDS facility expansion campaign will strengthen our outreach efforts by providing funding to build a north addition to our existing building. The addition will include two offices and a space for meeting and training. Additionally, a new three stall garage for storing items for housing clients and our agency van will be built. This $1.15 million expansion project is the final phase of our relocation to North 27th Street, which began in 2010.
Matt Talbot has been compassionately serving the most vulnerable in our community since 1992. Our guests are a diverse group of individuals and families with low socioeconomic status who are struggling to maintain housing or are experiencing homelessness. In addition to poverty, many guests are also challenged with physical disabilities, mental health issues, developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions, and/or addiction.
Last year, more than 42,000 services were provided, an increase of 34% from 2020, and housing programs were expanded by 48% to serve more unsheltered individuals and families. Expanding programs to meet the needs of the community resulted in additional staff and a need for more office space. Matt Talbot's staff has grown by 39% in the past 5 years (and by 127% in the last ten years).
This project is more than just physical space. It allows us to broaden our services and make a bigger impact on our community. With additional meeting and training space, staff will be able to meet with guests in a private area near the dining room. This area will also hold education classes for hunger relief volunteers to encourage improved nutrition of the meals served at Matt Talbot. Hunger Relief teams will have more space to distribute healthy foods and garden produce. The two added offices will be for a new human resources position and the Director of Hunger Relief & Volunteerism. With a multi-stall garage we will also have a larger capacity to store household items for housing clients who are moving from homelessness to a new apartment, creating efficiencies by having items onsite and reducing costs of renting storage units.
BOLD HOPE EXPANDS will change the lives of many by allowing Matt Talbot's dedicated and united front of staff and volunteers to continue serving individuals and families in Lincoln struggling with poverty, homelessness, and addiction.
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