History of Friendship Home
The Daughters of Charity (a Roman Catholic Sisterhood) and Catholic Social Services founded Friendship Home in 1978 as a short-term shelter for women. The primary purpose of this shelter (located in a rented home) was to provide women and their children a place to stay when they came to Lincoln to visit loved ones in prison or in the hospital. The nuns staffing the shelter quickly found most of their clients were victims of intimate partner violence. By 1980, Friendship Home had moved to larger quarters and narrowed its mission serve only this clientele. In 1984, Friendship Home reincorporated as a 501(c)3 private non-profit organization.
Friendship Home’s first Board of Directors embarked on a $200,000 capital campaign to purchase a permanent emergency and long-term shelter facility. Thanks to funding from a number of sources – including the Peter Kiewit Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation and First-Plymouth Congregational Church – Friendship Home purchased and moved into its first permanent home in the summer of 1985. This home is still in service as one of the agency’s two emergency shelter facilities.
Since its beginnings, Friendship Home’s facilities and services have expanded. Beginning in 1997, a $1.9 million capital campaign allowed the agency to purchase its second emergency shelter facility and undertake critical life and fire safety enhancements at the original shelter. This campaign also provided three years of operational funding for expanded emergency shelter. These two facilities currently shelter 50 women and children every day.
In the early 1990’s, Friendship Home expanded its shelter safety net to include transitional shelter through an innovative collaboration with the Lincoln Housing Authority. This project, which began with a duplex and a small annual operating grant from the Lincoln Housing Authority, now includes a second duplex unit, two apartments, and a house, allowing the agency to provide transitional shelter for up to 31 women and children every day.