Welcome to America and in particular in Lincoln, the capital and second-most populous city of the state of Nebraska. We are a home to over 265,000 people and we are glad you have chosen to become part of our great city.
Do you need help towards becoming self-sufficient and don't know where to start? Lincoln has great Community Services that will help you towards your goal. To become self-sufficient you need to make sure that you and your family take care of the following basic things:
Find a suitable home that fits the needs of you and your family. Lincoln goes through extreme seasons of winter where it gets very cold and hot summers where it gets very hot.
- Lincoln Housing Authority
5700 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68505
Phone - 402-434-5500
If you have an assigned case manager, they will help you find a suitable home and if you do not please immediately apply. They offer federally subsidized housing for low-income families and elderly. Non-subsidized housing is also available. Apply at their office and no appointments are necessary.
- Emergency shelter - People's City Mission
110 Q Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone - 402-475-1303
They have several programs for different circumstances.
- Emergency shelter for women - Friendship Home
Emergency Phone - 402-437-9302
If you are a mother or a woman going through domestic violence please call Friendship Home for immediate assistance.
- Emergency shelter for youth - CEDARS
Phone - 402-434-5437
CEDARS Emergency Shelter provides short-term care to youths ages 12-19, who do not have immediate access to a safe or more appropriate living arrangement.
For non-emergency housing please contact one of the following agencies:
- Community Action Partnership
Phone - 402-471-4515
They provide a safe, decent, affordable housing through low-income housing tax-credit financed rental developments in Lincoln and Wahoo.
- Aging Partners
Phone - 402-441-7070
This agency has a list of retirement, special needs, subsidized and nursing care facilities.
- Assistive Technology Partnership
Phone - 1-877-428-8844
They will try to match you with the housing that you can afford.
For more information on housing, visit our housing section.
On any given day during the week, you will find food resources in Lincoln. Please see the list of community agencies below to find a place where you can access free food near you.
You may also qualify for Federal Supplemental Food Programs:
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, formerly known as Food Stamps
SNAP eligibility is based on income, family size, household sources and other factors. Find a non-profit agency near you that has SNAP Outreach program or call 402-471-7000 for more information.
- Senior Commodity Supplemental Food Program
The Indian Center serves income-eligible elderly 60 years and older or families with children under 6 and not enrolled with the WIC program. Call 402-438-5231 for more information.
- Summer Food Program
Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department has free meals for children 2-18 at income-eligible community sites. This are offered in the summer when reduced fee school lunches are not available. Call 402-441-8000 for site information.
- WIC - Women, Infants and Children
This is a supplemental nutrition program serving pregnant, breast-feeding, postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of 5. Vouchers range from $33-$122 per month. Call Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department at 402-441-6200 or Family Service at 402-441-8655.
For more food distribution sites, see community agencies below.
With the different seasons we experience in Lincoln, you are going to need a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe. As you start looking for work or going to school, you may need clothes for you and your family members that will fit these needs. The community agencies listed below have clothing resources donated by the generous people of Lincoln. Call one of these agencies to schedule an appointment.
To become self-sufficient in Lincoln you will need to be find a way of getting around to find the necessary resources, during job hunting sessions, or going to school. At a low price of $8, you can purchase a regular bus pass or a handivan pass for $16 from several locations in Lincoln. Most of the agencies below sell low-income bus passes but to find a location near you please call StarTran at 402-476-1234. Their address is 710 J street Lincoln, NE 68508.
If you are working towards owning your own car please note that to obtain a driver's license in Nebraska, you will be required to complete a data form, a vision test, and a driving skills test. You are also required to take a knowledge test (Driver's Exam) on driving laws and regulations. See a sample of this exam.
English is the most common language used in Lincoln. If you can't speak or write English efficiently, please see one of these agencies for free English classes.
Legal Aid of Nebraska 402-348-1060 provides assistance to low-income people, Native Americans, and elderly people in civil (non-criminal) matters. Qualifying for help is based on income and the type of legal problem that you have. Legal Aid of Nebraska does not handle criminal matters in state or federal court, personal injury or worker's compensation cases. Legal Aid of Nebraska's legal services are free; however, clients may have to pay court costs. Apply online for services.
- Black Hills Energy (gas) - 1-800-303-0752
- Lincoln Electric System (LES) - 402-475-4211
- Lincoln Water System 402-441-7533
- Department of Health and Human Services - 402-471-7000
- Salvation Army - 402-474-6263
- Good Neighbor Community Center - 402-477-4173
- Community Action Partnership - 402-471-4515
Lincoln has over 6,000 acres of parks and natural land, 7 recreation centers, 128 miles of trails, 10 public pools and 5 city golf courses. Parks and Recreation really is FUNdamental to our quality of life in Lincoln. See a full list of Lincoln parks and facilities.
- Lincoln Children's Zoo
Located at 1222 South 27th Street, Lincoln NE 68502, Lincoln's Children Zoo is a place you can take your family to enjoy seeing animals while children are able to participate in various programs designed for children and very low rates.
- Lincoln Children's Museum
At the Lincoln Children's Museum, your children can build, dance, play, climb, create, sing, laugh, and be whatever their imagination takes them. It offers hands-on exhibits and imaginative programs that allow children and adults to discover the adventure of learning through play together.
- Lincoln Public Pools
Cool off in the summer months at one of Lincoln's public pools, aqautic centers, or spraygrounds. Don't know how to swim? Classes are also offered for children and adults.
- Pioneers Park Nature Center
668 acres of tallgrass prairie, woodlands, wetlands and a stream. Since 1963 the Nature Center has served the Lincoln area as an environmental education center and wildlife sanctuary. Eight miles of hiking trails wind through various habitats and take visitors past non-releasable raptor exhibits, as well as bison, elk, and white-tailed deer herds.
Lincoln has public and private schools where you can get your education to help you with your career plans.
Visit Lincoln Public Schools to find schools near you. Lincoln Public Schools is the second largest public school district in Nebraska and is growing to serve more than 37,80 students in more than 60 schools and programs. Call 402-436-1000 for more information.
Southeast Community College has several locations in town where you can learn English and take GED classes at a very low cost. Call 402-471-333 for more information.
Community Agencies in Lincoln
- Aging Partners (Senior Centers)
1005 O St Lincoln, NE 68508
Senior centers, transportation, meals & activities, dinner & a show, health services, health & fitness, free income tax assistance, non-emergency housing.
- Asian Community Center
2635 O St, Lincoln, NE 68510
Phone - 402-477-3446
Youth programs, Family resources, Senior programs, special programs, Sudanese Advocacy Project, and English classes.
- Bay Skate Park, The
2005 Y Street Lincoln, NE 68503
Phone - 402-310-5215
Skating, monthly food distribution, and mentoring.
- Carol M Yoakum Family Resource Center
4621 Northwest 48th Street Lincoln, NE 68524
Food Pantries, child care, GED classes, free clothes, and youth programs.
- Catholic Social Services
2241 O Street Lincoln, NE 68510
Emergency Services, food pantries, housing services, refugee resettlement, gift & Thrift stores, (GED, ESL, Citizenship, computer) classes, and apartments for victims of domestic violence.
- Cedars Emergency Shelter
6601 Pioneer Blvd Lincoln, NE
Short term care to youths ages 12-19.
- Center For People In Need
3901 North 27th Street, Unit 1 Lincoln, NE 68521
Refugee & immigrant services, Low income bus pass purchase location, ESL & GED classes, citizenship classes, OSHA certification training courses, day care training courses, training for employment first program, and Health Hub.
- Neighborhood FOOD Program: Air Park Rec Center (3720 NW 46th St.)
- Center For People in Need (3901 N. 27th St.)
- F Street Community Center (1225 F St.)
- Malone Community Center (2032 U St.)
- Oak Lake Evangelical Free Church (3300 N. 1st. St.)
For more information on times call Center For People in Need at 402-476-4357.
- Clinic with a Heart
1701 South 17th St. Lincoln, NE 68502 (lower level)
Provides free clinics. For emergencies please call 911.
- Clyde Malone Community Center
2032 'U' Street; Lincoln, NE 68503
Out of school program, community learning centers, Talented Tenth, Health Outreach Program, Senior Program, and food distribution program.
- Community Action Partnership
210 'O' Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Emergency Services: Rent & utility assistance, and homeless prevention services.
Employment & training, money and savings, housing services, and community services, low income bus pass purchase site, non-emergency housing, and free income tax assistance.
- Community Crops
1551 South 2nd Street Lincoln, NE 68502
Tools, resources, education, and garden space to grow your own healthy food.
- Family Service Lincoln
501 South 7th Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Behavioral health, child care food program, before & after school programs, early childhood & youth development, and WIC (Women, Infants & Children).
- El Centro De las Americas
210 'O' St. Lincoln, NE 68508
Adelante, domestic violence, free monthly legal consultations, English and Spanish classes, interpreters, and citizenship classes, Golden Warriors, crisis prevention and assistance program.
- F Street Community Center
1225 S 17th Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Low income bus pass purchase site, FUNdamental to youth development and active living, team sports, and School's out.
- Friendship Home
P.O. Box 85358 Lincoln, NE 68501
Shelter for battered women and children.
- Food Bank
4840 Doris Bair Cr. Ste. A Lincoln, NE 68504
Neighborhood Food Program, BackPack Program, Rural Mobile Pantry, Housewarming Project, SNAP Program, Rural Mobile Pantry, and pre-packed bag distribution.
- Foodnet Inc.
402-416-6197 (24 hour phone service)
Visit foodnetlincoln.org for distribution days and times.
Foodnet distribution sites:
- Allon Chapel at Good Neighbor (26th & Y)
- Calvary United Methodist (1610 S. 11th St.)
- Church of Christ (3110 N 1st St.)
- Cristo Rey Catholic (4221 J St.)
- Grace Chapel PCA (40th & Sheridan)
- Foursquare Church (1170 Manatt St.)
- Havelock United Methodist (4140 N. 60th St.)
- Heartland Bible Church at Valvert Rec. Center (4500 Stockwell)
- Lakeview United Methodist (230 Capitol Beach)
- Lincoln Christian Fellowship (4111 NW 44th)
- New Hope United Methodist (27th & R)
- North Central Distribution (3901 N 27th St.)
- One 80 (29th & O)
- St. Mary's Catholic (14th & K St.)
- Southview Christian Church (22nd & South Street)
- Zion Church/First Street Bible (1st & F St.)
- Fresh Start
6433 Havelock Avenue Lincoln, NE
A safe structured, alcohol- and drug-free environment for women invested in attaining self-sufficiency and community support services.
- Gathering Place, The
1448 E Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Soup Kitchen and ESL classes.
- Good Neighbor Community Center
2617 Y Street Lincoln, NE 68503
Food pantries, perishable food, refugee & immigrant services, clothing, diaper depot, and household items.
- HUB, The
1037 S. 12th Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Low income bus pass purchase site, Community Outreach Services, GED Classes, Lincoln Education Academic Program, Project H2O, Project Hire, Youth Act and youth AmeriCorps program.
- Indian Center
1100 Military Road Lincoln, NE 68508
Youth & family services programs, commodity supplemental food program, diaper depot, low income bus pass purchase site, summer fan distribution, FoodNet program, food pantry, housing program, senior citizens program, many nations healing counseling services and workforce investment act program.
Counseling, training or GED. Lunch served Wednesdays, low income bus pass purchase site, and housing program for people from all ethnic groups.
- Lincoln City Libraries
See site or call for locations, hours and phone numbers of a library near you.
- Lincoln Literacy
Assists people of all cultures and strengthen the community by teaching English language and literacy skills.
- Lutheran Family Services
2201 S 17th Street Lincoln, NE 68502
Individual, Couples and family counseling services. Substance abuse treatment, refugee services, pre- and post-adoption services, pregnancy counselling services, parent/child interaction therapy, and child/parent psychotherapy.
- Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach
2121 North 27th Street Lincoln, NE 68503
Provide free meals, food pantry, foot care clinic, street outreach, life skills enhancement, homeless identification, nutrition, health outreach, vision improvement, case management, hygiene services, transitional housing, message/mail/phone services, and New Beginnings Literacy Project.
- M.A.D. Dads (Men Against Destruction)
5610 Seward Avenue Lincoln, NE 68507
Bike Program provides free bikes to children attending school grades 5 through 9.
- Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law
941 O Street #920 Lincoln, NE 68508
Provides information on the rights of welfare recipients.
- People's City Mission
110 Q Street Lincoln, NE 68508
Family shelter, veterans assistance, soup kitchen, food pantries, free medical clinic, and low income bus pass purchase site.
Homeless Prevention Center at 26th and O Street (402-475-6888).
- St. Vincent de Paul
2215 O Street Lincoln, NE 68510
HELP line (leave a message) 402-435-7968
Rent & utility assistance, furniture, and other miscellaneous needs.
- Salvation Army
2625 Potter Street Lincoln, NE 68503
Food Pantries, low income bus pass purchase site, youth and afterschool programs, winter night watch, organized sports, summer camp, back to school, men's club, women's club, diaper depot, tobacco prevention, summer fans, project Hope, disaster services, utility assistance, laundry vouchers, medicine assistance, clothing vouchers, and Christmas toys.
- Southeast Community College
8800 'O' Street Lincoln, NE 68520
English, Computer and GED classes. Low income bus pass purchase site.
1701 S 17th Street, Suite 2D, Lincoln, NE 68502
- Voices of Hope
2545 N St Lincoln, NE 68510
Non-emergency number 402-476-2110
Provides services to those who experience violence, sexual assault and abuse.
Guide to Lincoln
The following are Guidebooks developed by Catholic Social Services in 2012. They are currently available in English, Arabic and Karen. Please keep in mind that some information may be outdated since these were developed in 2012.