Lift Up Sarpy County and collaboratve partners create Community Care Kits in response.
Lift Up Sarpy County, in cooperation with several of its collaborative partners, announced the results of a Point in Time (PIT) Count today that showed astonishing numbers of people in Sarpy County are currently homeless or home insecure (couch surfing, living in their cars, etc.).
In the latest PIT data collected in January 2023, the team discovered:
- 30 people were estimated to be living in encampments
- 18 people were being temporarily housed in area hotels
- 27 people were living in their cars in area parking lots or couch surfingAlso, in January 2023, 144 children in Sarpy County schools were self reporting to be homeless. (Not all schools in Sarpy County provided counts.)”These numbers are staggering and reflect only a glimpse into what’s going on,” says Tanya Gifford, Executive Director of Lift Up Sarpy County. “While we knew that more than 5% of Sarpy’s population was living at or below the poverty line, even we were taken aback by some of the stories and situations we discovered during the PIT Count.”
“It’s difficult for many in Sarpy County to wrap their heads around the fact we have a homeless issue in Sarpy given the incredible economic growth we’ve experienced over the past few years. However, as our county grows, so do the number of people struggling with housing,” Gifford said.
In fact, evictions in Sarpy County are nearly double the rate they were only a year ago, now averaging about 13 evictions per week and that number is sharply rising. This past week alone, 27 households were facing eviction.
To help ease the immediate burden on those experiencing homelessness, the Task Force created Community Care Kits, backpacks filled with supplies and provisions as well as a list of resources that those experiencing homelessness can contact for help and guidance.
The kits will be distributed to law enforcement, other first responders, convenience stores, large retailers and truck stops in Sarpy County who often come into contact with the county’s homeless. No paperwork is required to provide someone with a kit and people are asked to use their own discretion as to who might benefit from its contents.
Gifford continued, “This extensive collaboration to lift up those in our community who need help is exactly why Lift Up Sarpy County was formed. We are thankful to the partners in this effort as we work to develop long-term solutions to the affordable housing issue across our county.”
If your business or organization in willing to help distribute Community Care Kits, or if you would like to donate supplies to create them, please visit https://LiftUpSarpyCounty.org/Sarpy-Homeless.
About The Sarpy County Task Force on Homelessness
The Sarpy County Task Force on Homelessness is a subcommittee of a larger Sarpy County steering committee led by Lift Up Sarpy County. This Task Force works to increase awareness of Sarpy’s homeless population and looks for ways to solve the immediate and long term needs of those experiencing it. The Task Force membership is comprised of several not-for-profit, government and educational organizations.
About Lift Up Sarpy County
Lift Up Sarpy County has created a caring, collaborative community where organizations are able to meet the needs of people in Sarpy County. The organization coordinates services and assists residents of Sarpy County with rent, mortgage, utilities, financial stability, food insecurity, transportation, school readiness and supplies through their network. Learn more and donate at LiftUpSarpyCounty.org.
If you are in need of assistance call Lift Up Sarpy County at (402) 293-3842 or download the MyLnk app on Google Play or the Apple Store.