The Connection is located at 414 E. 6th St. Our campus includes the shelter, the Thrift Connection, and the Construction Connection.  We have a greenhouse we use to produce tomatoes and other vegetables for use at the shelter and for sale at the thrift stores. Stop in any time for a look around--it's a nice tribute to the generosity of so many organizations and people who make it possible. Contact us at 308.532.5050 or 308.532.3863.

The Connection

Our mission is to provide the basic needs of the homeless and help each one move a step closer to home.

The Connection provides housing to about 325 clients a year. "Emergency" stays are for a few days or weeks and are designed to address urgent needs. "Transitional" stays are up to 2 years, for those who are willing to stay put long enough to build a foundation for a better future.

The single men's quarters accomodate up to 18 men in a dormitory setting and 7 in private bedrooms. The single women's area accomodates up to 3 women in dorm beds and 4 in private bedrooms. There are 6 apartments to serve families with children. Services include a warm, secure place to spend the night, a hearty breakfast and supper each day and proactive case management. The latter is an effort to help our clients face up to the issues that are contributing to their homelessness, deal with those issues and move on into appropriate housing.

We encourage long stays, since the only real way to stop homelessness is to stop the homeless. Those who are constantly on the move do not generally have the motivation, resources or networks necessary to build a solid foundation for the future. Our goal is to provide a sort of trusted "family" for those who are willing to stay put for a while and slowly rebuild their lives.

Whom do We Serve?

We initially welcome anyone except unaccompanied children under the age of 18. A quick intake and pre-screen then includes a criminal background check done by the State Patrol, a UA drug test, a breath test for alcohol if appropriate, and first impressions regarding mental health. Results of those tests and observations determine if a person may stay overnight, and under what conditions. The current shelter is not equipped to deal with those who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor with the severely mentally ill. In those cases, we refer to other service providers and do what we can to find more appropriate facilities or resources. We consistently bend over backwards to help whomever we can, even if they do not really fit our "criteria."

How Can I Help?

Many times we are asked, "how can we help".   

Below we have listed three easy ways to help the shelter.

Click here to Donate Easily & Quickly

You can also use your PayPal account to donate.

 


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The Thrift Connection

     The Thrift Connection, 501 E 5th St., is a thrift store run in support of The Connection Homeless Shelter.  The Thrift Connection receives donations of all kinds from area residents and sells them at reduced prices to give everyone an opportunity to purchase items they need or want at a reduced price.  The Thrift Connection also gives the residents of the shelter to obtain the items they need for work, and all aspects of life.  It also provides a place for them to volunteer and give back to the shelter.  The Thrift Connection features a wide variety of items such as women's clothing, kids and baby clothing and supplies, men's clothing, shoes for all, games, puzzles, electronics, small appliances, and A LOT of other treasures.

The Thrift Connection is staffed by all volunteer labor. The proceeds of every sale go to help the clients and residents of the shelter. "LOCAL Donations helping YOUR LOCAL homeless shelter".  As our thrift store continues to grow, it helps the shelter be less dependent on government grants.  The former location of the Thrift Connection, at 422 E 6th St., is now the "The Construction Connection" which focuses on left over or slightly used housing/construction materials. At that location we accept cut lumber, appliances, wiring and plumbing supplies, paint (at least 1/2 gallon) roofing supplies, used cabinetry, left over or slightly used flooring, trim work, and most everything else involved in remodeling or constructing a home or other building. 

Stop by and check out both of our thrift locations, we are sure to have something for everyone! You never know what you might find on our shelves.  For more information on how to donate, or volunteer, call The Connection at 308.532.5050.  Thanks for viewing our site, follow us on Twitter to be the first to know about special items at the Thrift Connection, and like us on Facebook to keep up on all the shelter news!


 
Thu, November 27, 2014

Socktober!

This year the library at Madison Middle School participated in Socktober.  The students in Mrs. Axthelm's homeroom accepted the Socktober challenge to collect socks for the homeless. The Socktober goal for Madison was 100 pars of brand new socks and they reached 135 by October 30th! Thank you Madison! Together we can make a difference!

Fall Fun Night!

There's always something going on at The Connection i.e. Bibles studies, game night, AA meetings, Church on Sunday.  Here's some photos from Fall Fun Night held October 24th.  Special thanks to Booty Farms for all of the pumpkins, to the NPPS Secretaries who provided the paint and some snacks and to Wendy Meyer who coordinated the night.
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THE CONNECTION HOMELESS SHELTER CELEBRATES 20 YEARS!

In 1986, a small but mighty group, compelled by the scriptures, identified an unmet need in Lincoln County: providing for the basic needs of the poor, transient and homeless. Here are the names of The Connection founding mothers and fathers: Bernard Berger – St. Pats, Captain Brenda Herivel – Salvation Army, Julie Myers – Attorney, DiAnn Kolkman/Steve Lamon – First National Bank, A.J. Gardner – Special Agent UPRR, Howard Grant – First Christian Church, Steve Hodges – HR Director@ GPRMC, Glen Mahaffey – Episcopal Church and Community Volunteers: Karen McConnell, Jo Hetzke, Wanda Mindt, Ann Williams and Melanie Waugh. The Salvation Army basement at 6th and Walnut was the first site to go for 2 hots and a cot, sending them on their way the next day with referrals to helping agencies in town. Equipped with Articles of Incorporation, 501(C)(3) status, the former Tuckers restaurant at 511 N. Jeffers donated in August of 1994, a permanent homeless shelter was established.

It was obvious this 100 year old former restaurant was not going to stand the test of time so a capital campaign to raise $75,000.00 to buy the land at 414 East 6th street was accomplished in record time. We broke ground in 2009 and moved in to our present location July of 2010. This 1.4 million dollar project was finished debt free because: Donations from citizens like YOU, Federal Home Loan Bank Grant worth $250,000.00, Peter Kiewit Grant for $200,000.00, Community Redevelopment Grant of $200,000.00 and a special thanks to Habitat for Humanity for designating this a project worthy of their volunteer labor. This 16, 000 square foot building has 5 apartments for families, a dorm for 26 men, room for 7 in the womens dorm, a third floor play area, classroom with computers, dining room open to the public, laundry facility, offices and a $75,000.00 playground donated by The Buffalo Bill Kiwanis.

Since 1994 we have operated a Thrift Connection now located at 501 E. 5th St. where you can donate and/or buy gently used clothing, furniture, knick knacks, seasonal items, housewares and electronics. In March of this year you helped with the ribbon cutting at our new Construction Connection, 422 E. 6th, where you can donate and/or buy doors, windows, lumber, cabinets etc. BOTH STORES ARE RUN BY VOLUNTEERS AND WE ARE IN NEED OF MORE HELP FOR THESE GROWING ENTERPISES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OUR COMMUNITY AND OPERATING BUDGET!

On August 14, 2014, 150 people came to celebrate our rich history plus the vision we have for future goals to continue to be a well respected program in Nebraska.


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The Construction Connection!

    The Construction Connection is NOW OPEN! The Connection Homeless Shelter and the Thrift Connection are very happy to announce a new venture in thrift stores: The Construction Connection!  Located at the Thrift Connection's former location, 422 E 6th St, The Construction Connection is ready to serve you and your building supply needs!  As time goes on, we find it more and more important to make the shelter as self sufficient as possible.  We receive about half of our budget from government grants.  Looking forward the board of directors as well as the shelter staff, and hopefully community members will agree, that we should try to alleviate our reliance on grants.  The Construction Connection is one more way we are hoping to help the community and also help the shelter. 

     The Construction Connection offers more that just a way to donate items and purchase building materials at a discounted price.  It helps us save the environment as well.  In 2012 over 104,000 tons of waste went to the landfill near Ogallala.  A lot of that refuse was generated through new construction and remodeling projects.  Until now, our choices for "what do I do with this stuff" when it came to excess building materials, were limited to: Throw it out, and everyone's favorite "Store it, I might need it some day".  We all have garages and storage sheds full of "I'll need it some day".  Well now we have another choice, The Construction Connection! Bring your slightly used materials, countertops, sinks, toilets, faucets, cabinets, cabinet hardware, doors, windows, screens, roofing supplies, well you get the idea, to the Construction Connection.  We'll resell it, and use the proceeds to help the mission of the shelter.  And when your next project comes up, keep us in mind, we might just have what your looking for. Our inventory always changes, so be sure to check us out on a weekly basis.  We are open from 10 am to 2 pm Thursday - Saturday.  If you need something outside of "official store hours" call the shelter at 532-5050 to arrange a time to have the store opened up for you! Happy shopping and cheaper building!

Out of the Box

Check out our Fundraising page to see this years entries to the Out of the Box event.

Out of the Box!