Improving Online Access

Online Access 2Purpose Statement

Important government, business, and community services are increasingly available exclusively or, most conveniently, online.  These services are easy to access for people who possess the necessary equipment and technology skills.  However, the people who need these services the most are often the ones least equipped to access them.  By creating conditions that make it easier for people to access online services we can ensure that people will be able to access the services they need. More

Senior Connections

Seniors 2The Senior Connections meeting was held at the Abrahams Branch Library on Tuesday April 15th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The meeting’s purpose was “Seniors in the Omaha community do not always receive the services they need.  Many are not aware of programs designed for them which affect their quality of life.  In this project we will bring senior service providers together to define the problem which keeps seniors from being aware of and utilizing all available services.”  The goal was to “Convene a meeting of senior service providers to identify and uncover problems which impede appropriate services.” More

Voter Education in Douglas County

Voter EducationPurpose

Douglas County is growing fast.  City, county, and district lines are constantly changing.  This can lead to voter confusion within the community that leads to lower voter turnout.  If Douglas County residents are educated on issues such as who can vote in which elections; who their representatives are; when elections take place; where to vote; how to register; and how to find information about candidates, barriers to voting can be reduced and lead to greater community involvement and increased voter turnout. More

Prisoner Reentry – Cooperative Homecoming

Prisoner Reentry 1Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, Megan Klein-Hewett, and I conducted a facilitated discussion on prisoner reentry at the Benson Branch Library on Thursday, April 10, 2014.  Our project proposal describes the meeting’s purpose and goal:

Nebraska state prisons are 53% over capacity.  Proposed legislation to lessen this overcrowding would result in more former convicts reentering the community.  While many groups are working to address the impact and needs of ex-inmates, there is no nexus for reentry information and services.  Uniform access to services and increased communication between service providers will lessen the duplication of services and allow service providers to strengthen their services, leading to more positive reentry outcomes.  This will strengthen the Omaha community by reducing unemployment and recidivism and strengthening families.

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Building Community, Building Citizenship

Citizenship 1Data from the most recent U.S. Census tells us that ten percent of Omaha’s total population is foreign-born.  71.6% of these individuals are not United States citizens.  Since this figure emerged as a bit of a surprise, Deirdre Routt and I decided to explore the relationship between citizenship and community.  Does a higher percentage of citizenship equal a more inclusive community?  Is there something happening in Omaha that functions as a barrier to citizenship?  Are these issues as intertwined as we suspect or are we assuming a relationship that isn’t valid?  Does citizenship matter? More

Unemployment East of 72nd Street

Unemployment 3Purpose

When we looked at the ACS (American Community Survey) 5-year estimates, Omaha’s unemployment rate is highest east of 72nd Street.  Eight zip code areas are above the national unemployment rate of 6.7%.  Many areas are two or even three times higher than Omaha’s unemployment rate of 4.0 %.  We hope to identify issues that prevent the unemployed from finding jobs and work towards a better economy for Omaha east of 72nd Street. More