I’m Here

I'm HereI’m here.

I can still hear Linda Trout’s voice saying “I’m here”.  This was the first facilitation training activity at the beginning of the grant project’s FIT Team.  Before I say anything else, I need to say there is no wrong way to say “I’m here”.  Some people asked it like a question: “I’m here?”  Others said it meekly: “I’m here.”  Participants were asked to stand in a circle, and when ready, step one-by-one into the circle’s center, make eye contact with everyone else, and say those two words.  Some people said “I’m here” as fast as possible and bee lined it back to their spot.  Linda actually turned around and looked at everyone in the circle.  The “I’m here” she said that morning had deep, invisible roots that held firmly to the building’s foundation.  I had no idea what was going through Linda’s mind but it felt like Linda was truly here.  Not pretending to be here.  Not wishing she was here.  Present. More

Prisoner Reentry – Family and Friends of Inmates

Prisoner Reentry 4Purpose

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 awareness of and access to services and increased communication between service providers would allow these groups to strengthen their services.  Stronger services would lead to more positive reentry outcomes.  The Omaha community would grow stronger by reducing unemployment and recidivism and fortifying families. 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

Hopes and Dreams for High School Education

High School 1Matt Couch and Nancy Chmiel facilitated a conversation on “Hopes and Dreams for High School Education” on November 4, 2013.  The goal of the conversation was to facilitate a conversation between parents and educators of Saddlebrook Elementary School students about their perceptions of, concerns about, and dreams for their children’s high school education in Omaha.  At the outset of the project, we explained our purpose: More