Shelter for those in need

‚ÄčSpeaker: Tim Sully, Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter

Blair High School alumnus Tim Sully, director of development of the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter in downtown Omaha, talked about the facility's services. It is the largest of the three homeless shelters in Omaha. The shelter served 3,700 unique people in 2015.
 
On Dec. 31, 2015, about 520 people were staying at the Siena/Francis House. The average stay is 40 days. It only has 389 beds, so those who can't get a bed will sleep on the floor or on benches. 
 
More people are in homelessness situations, but they are getting out quicker than before, Sully said. He estimates that two-thirds of the people who stay there have some form of mental illness or chronic addictions. 
 
About a quarter of those who stayed there in 2015 were women and children; about 80 percent of the women have been victims of domestic violence. Most kids who stay there are age 6 and under. 
 
The Siena/Francis House also offers permanent supportive housing — 48 efficiency apartments on the campus. All of those occupants were homeless at one time and have a disability. For three-fourths of them, their disability is mental illness. 
 
"Homelessness can happen to anybody," Sully said. "It doesn't discriminate." 

Don't forget — Rotary Foundation donations due!

The end of the year is approaching, which means Rotary Foundation donations are due June 30. Rotarians are expected to contribute at least $100 to the Foundation. Checks can be made out to the Rotary Foundation and given to Rotarian Kyle Acre, or donate online here: https://www.rotary.org/en/give. Click on "Annual Fund and Share."