What We Do
Since 1954, Open Door Mission has been committed to reaching out a
helping hand to as many as possible through the following programs:
Each day, Open Door Mission’s campus offers 917 safe shelter beds to people experiencing homelessness. Nutritious meals, safe shelter, and quality care are provided for men, women, and families in need of immediate assistance at Lydia House and the Garland Thompson Men’s Center. Finding safe shelter and a warm bed could mean the difference between life and death for many experiencing homelessness.
Lydia House / Women & Families
For more than 69 years, Open Door Mission has welcomed the hungry and homeless when all other doors were closed. As the face of homelessness transformed from a scruffy, middle-aged man into the unblemished face of a 9-year-old child, Open Door Mission’s Lydia House expanded programs and services to meet people in need and swing wide the door to a better place. Nationally, about half of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic abuse and violence.
The Lydia House provides emergency services for women and families in need of immediate assistance. We provide food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs. The Lydia House also offers life-changing programs to address the causes of homelessness such as—abuse, addiction, or the inability to obtain and maintain steady employment.
Garland Thompson Men’s Center
The reality is that when a person walks through our doors, they are not initially seeking a complete life change. They are coming in off the streets, leaving the cars or cardboard boxes they’ve called home, and seeking two simple things—shelter and food. Open Door Mission’s Garland Thompson Men’s Center provides emergency services for men in need of immediate assistance. Food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs are provided, and each man is given case management, which provides the first steps toward preventing future homelessness.
Rebuilding Lives Center
The Rebuilding Lives Center is committed to empowering men with the tools they need to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community. This center has 96 units for life-changing programs. The New Life Recovery Program is a Bible-based 12-step residential program focused on personal development. The Journey to Work Program provides money management, job training, and education skills. The Veterans Housing First Program focuses on supportive services, crisis intervention, educational screening, and assessment in areas of mental health, chemical dependency, job skills, and life skills. The top floor is the Permanent Supportive Housing for those who may benefit from living in a stable environment while working or attending school full-time.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Supportive housing is offered to men, women, and families who may benefit from living in a stable environment for an extended period of time. Residents can live in a supportive housing environment while working or attending school part-time or full-time. This is a safe, affordable, supportive, sober living environment with two- and three-bedroom apartments available.
Case management and training is available for residents. Metro bus line and shuttle services are available daily.
Feeding the Hungry
Hope begins with a meal. Each day, Open Door Mission serves 4,747 meals to men, women, and families experiencing hunger. Meeting the basic needs of people who are hurting and experiencing hunger, opens the door to empower individuals to create lasting change.
Feed the Hungry
Every $2.15 provides a meal and a seat at the table for families and individuals who have nowhere else to turn. And this meal is just the start—because for many, being surrounded by love renews hope and opens the door to real life change.
Every day, Open Door Mission’s Outreach Centers provide more than 1,000 people with homeless prevention resources through consumer choice food pantries, diapers, clothes, household items and furniture at no cost, empowering them to remain in their own homes.
Family Outreach & Donation Centers
At the Timberlake Outreach Center and each of our Family Outreach & Donation Centers (Elkhorn and Council Bluffs Family Outreach/Donation Center), monthly assistance for food, clothing, diapers, furniture, and appliances is available. Through this ministry, families in need can lower their expenses, empowering them to remain in their own homes.
The Timberlake Outreach Center also serves thousands of people through our seasonal preventive programs including the Great Thanksgiving Banquet, Turkey ‘N Fixins, Super Duper Give Away, and Project Santa.
Timberlake, Elkhorn, and Council Bluffs are open and accepting donations. We are grateful for your generous donations of new and gently-used items!
Open Door Mission’s Three Drop Off Locations:
At our Drop Off locations, a staff member will help unload your donations and provide a tax-deductible receipt, if desired.
Open Door Mission offers over 40 life-changing programs, including the New Life Recovery Program and Journey to Work. Open Door Mission is committed to empowering men, women, and families with the tools they need to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.
New Life Recovery Program
The New Life Recovery Program was revamped to include more life skill classes, group therapy, community engagement activities, and structure. Students will have more time to connect with Jesus, themselves, and others to foster a sense of acceptance and belonging – cornerstones of successful recovery. Recent hires include a fulltime licensed therapist for emergency service guests, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and a recovery case manager for the Lydia House. More is to come!
Journey to Work Program
The Journey to Work Program focuses on breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty through personal development, money management, job training, and educational skills. GED classes are also offered.
Veteran’s Housing First Program
The Veteran’s Housing First Program focuses on the Housing First and Veterans Administration combined goals of crisis intervention, emergency services, screening, and assessments in areas of mental health, chemical dependency, job skills, training, and life skills.
WorkNet / GED Program
Graduates of WorkNet discover opportunities that are fulfilling and lead to gainful employment.
Children and Youth
Afterschool programs provide educational tutoring, field trips, and character building exercises. Camp + Care during the summer provides 3 hot, nutritious meals, recreational games, field trips, learning activities, educational tutoring, arts and crafts, and so much more.
Health and Wellness
Open Door Mission is committed to making high-quality, professional healthcare accessible in our community. Our free Health and Wellness Clinic provides guests with medical visits, diverting hundreds of patients from hospital visits. Our expanded Behavioral Health Department works with men, women, and children, helping to relieve mental health challenges.
Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness Clinic
Each day at Open Door Mission’s free Health and Wellness Clinic, patients experiencing homelessness and poverty are met with quality care and compassion. This on-site clinic meets the unique healthcare needs of our most vulnerable neighbors while reducing the burden on local hospitals and emergency rooms. In July 2022, the Health and Wellness Clinic received a Gold Rating from the NAFC Quality Standards program, recognizing the consistent standard of care provided to patients on Open Door Mission’s campus.
The New Life Recovery Program is being revamped to include new classes, community engagement activities, and structure. Students will have more time to connect with Jesus, themselves, and others to foster a sense of acceptance and belonging—cornerstones of successful recovery. Recent hires include a full-time licensed therapist for emergency service guests, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor for the Lydia House, and a recovery case manager for the Lydia House. More is to come!
Art Therapy Studio
One of the featured speakers at the Open Door Mission Virtual Gala is our Art Therapist, Jenelle! Jenelle discusses art therapy and her journey as an instructor through the American Art Therapy Association. Read more in the featured article, “My First Art Therapy Job, at a Homeless Shelter, during a Pandemic” and view the artwork done by our guests.
Transform a Life Today