Homelessness a Big Problem in South Omaha

Homelessness a Big Problem in South Omaha

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Jan 8, 2013

In this room at the South Omaha police precinct the community's worries are voiced loud and clear. 

Gangs, robberies, violence and at this meeting homelessness is the topic of discussion.

"What we're seeing, is an increase in some of the people that we're seeing homeless in Southeast."

The neighborhood groups call themselves the Southeast Precinct Advisory Council.

"What we want to do always is raise awareness in our community that there's so many people that can help."
In January of last year the homeless count in the metro was 1500.
That number isn't unusually high but what concerns experts is the changing face of homelessness.
"What's really sad, is that our fastest growth area is families who are becoming homeless. It isn't the single male person that we all may think about in terms of homelessness, but our increase in families. "
Police and neighbors are noticing more people in the areas of 24th and L and 24th and O, under bridges and on top of buildings.
Even an uptick in crime has police uneasy.
"Some of the vacant houses that we have in the precinct people actually can go into there to seek shelter, so it becomes an issue of safety. I mean we can fires in there from people that are smoking, they can go in there and commit burglaries and take things from those property owners."
The hope is collaboration among community groups and agencies will help push resources and spread the word to end homelessness one person at a time.