Meet Miracles Program - and UNO - Graduate Nathan Wood
Like many other graduates this spring, Nathan Wood walked across the stage at Baxter Arena on May 3, 2019, and received a diploma. But what sets Nathan apart from his classmates is a different graduation ceremony that occurred over five years ago, when he completed the Siena Francis House Miracles Addiction Recovery Program. Once homeless, addicted and hopeless, Nathan is now a sober college graduate, working and thriving in the Omaha community. Read more here.
Suzanne - Summer 2019
Suzanne was soaking wet and shivering when she arrived at the Siena Francis House during one of the heavy rains we had late this spring. Her tears mixed with the raindrops as we got her some dry clothes and coaxed her to eat a sandwich. A victim of domestic abuse, and struggling with mental illness, Suzanne left her abusive boyfriend in a downpour and walked for nearly an hour to get to our shelter. Click here to read Suzanne's story.
Heather - Easter 2019
Heather had been abused physically, verbally, and emotionally by her domineering husband for several years. From the beginning of their marriage, her husband made all decisions related to their household and finances. In fact, Heather rarely made even the simplest of decisions for herself, and she seldom was allowed to leave the house. Her life was totally controlled by her husband. The worst part of their relationship was when, in fits of drunken rage, he would direct his anger at Heather, throwing her around the house, often punching her in the face.
Heather had tried to leave her husband three times in the past, but each time, she ended up back at their house and under his control. The insecurity of having very little money of her own and no place else to go always forced her to return. This time, however, Heather was adamant that she was not going back. Click here to continue reading her story.
Helen and James - Winter 2019
Before she was homeless, Helen worked part-time as a hostess at a local restaurant, while also caring for James, who is disabled – a progressive foot infection necessitated having his toes, foot and, ultimately, his left leg removed, below the knee. With James in a wheelchair, and the infection still progressing, Helen found herself missing work more and more, in order to care for James and take him to medical appointments.
In mid-summer of last year, Helen’s manager at the restaurant where she worked approached her as a shift was ending: “We’re going to have to let you go” was the last thing Helen heard, abruptly ending 13 years of dedicated service. Click here to continue reading Helen and James's story.
June's Graduation - July 2018
Meghan - Summer 2018
When Meghan arrived to our women’s shelter last October, she was (in her own words) “a broken human being. I felt like I had nothing to offer the world, and had absolutely no purpose in life. Deep down I knew I wanted nothing more than to have a job and a place to stay, basically a normal life, but I didn’t know how to achieve that.”
Not long after she arrived, Meghan heard about our “Miracles” addiction treatment and recovery program, and asked our staff about how it worked. Within a week of that inquiry, Meghan found herself a Miracles Program participant. Click here to continue reading Meghan's story.
Morgan - Easter 2018
Around 4:30 a.m. on a recent and particularly cold winter morning, our women’s program manager, Patty, was just arriving to work. Walking into the shelter, Patty noticed a car parked by our front gate, with a young woman sitting in it. The woman’s head was resting on the steering wheel. The temperature was a few degrees above zero.
Knowing something was definitely wrong, Patty tapped on the car’s window. Startled, the cold and sleepy woman rolled down the window. She said her name was Morgan and she had driven to the Siena/Francis House…fleeing from an alcoholic and physically abusive spouse a few hours before. Of course, Patty immediately brought her into the shelter. It was easy to see that Morgan had left home quickly – not only was she not wearing a coat, she also wasn’t wearing shoes. Click here to read her full story.
Christina - Winter 2018
We generally hesitate saying that Siena Francis House may have saved somebody’s life. But that’s the only conclusion I can come to, after our staff went looking for and found a very confused woman – Christina – who was outdoors for several hours in fourteen degrees below zero weather one recent afternoon. When we found Christina she was wearing only a zip-up sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes. No coat, hat, gloves or anything else to keep her warm. She was nearly frozen. Click here to read her full story.