Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

Finding Hope in Unexpected Places

Reflecting on her life a year ago, Lydia’s memories echo with a singular, haunting word – hopeless.

Lydia was 19 years old and had just left a negative situation at home. She was living with a friend and struggling to find a job. The absence of positive adult influences and a reliable support system left her in a day-to-day struggle just to stay afloat; planning for the future was out of the question. She shared that she was at her lowest point.

“I didn’t know where to start or how to get back up on my feet,” said Lydia. “I really needed help. I really needed guidance and support and an adult figure in my life. I was super hopeless.”

When Lydia was at rock bottom, one person came to mind who might be able to help her, a teaching assistant named Kiera who had mentored her when she was in high school. Desperate for some direction and encouragement, Lydia decided to reach out to Kiera, and as it turns out, hope was just a phone call away.

Kiera was now working at Omaha Home for Boys and knew immediately that she could help Lydia. She encouraged Lydia to enroll in OHB’s Branching Out Independent Living Program where the pair embarked on a transformative journey.

Kiera first worked with Lydia on some of the basic building blocks for a more stable future – goal setting, budgeting, and prioritizing responsibility over Lydia’s “YOLO” (you only live once) mindset. Lydia also learned how to better advocate for herself and started taking more accountability for her actions.

A crucial lifeline provided to Lydia by OHB was a safe place to live. She moved into our Supportive Community Living Program where she has her own comfortable living space that makes her feel safe and secure. Best of all is that Kiera works right next door and continues to encourage and guide Lydia in reaching her educational and employment goals.

When asked about her newfound independence, Lydia’s face lights up with joy. “I love it! It’s so peaceful. If Kiera and OHB were not here to help me with my housing situation, I have no idea where I would be at. I left a really violent, toxic situation.”

Today, Lydia is looking forward to utilizing an OHB Scholarship to go to college and is no longer the hopeless young woman she once was.

“Trying to find hope and find the light is so hard when you don’t have people who are standing by your side but now I have Kiera,” said Lydia. “Without Omaha Home for Boys I know that not just me, but other people too, we wouldn’t have the resources we do. We wouldn’t have people cheering us on. We wouldn’t have people supporting us to be successful. We wouldn’t have hope.”


“You’re donating to more than just a program. You’re donating to actual people’s lives.” – Lydia

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