In the four months since the Yale Park Apartments were evacuated, former tenants have found new apartments or become first-time homeowners.
And throughout the holiday season, the Omaha community — including churches, yoga studios, families and local businesses — have continued to lend a hand to residents, most of whom are refugees from Myanmar.
According to Hannah Wyble, whose group, Restoring Dignity, works with refugees:
- Sponsors have volunteered to help 96 families get re-homed with new or donated furniture and household items. (Four-and-a-half sponsors are still needed for remaining families; contact Restoring Dignity at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.)
- Before Christmas, a donor gave 100 smoked turkeys to Yale Park families.
- Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative donated 65 gift baskets to Yale Park families with young children. The gift baskets included a laundry basket, a teddy bear, children’s book and soaps.
- Black Belt Movers helped collect furniture from more than 24 households and dropped off two truckloads of furniture to a Restoring Dignity storage unit.
- Mission Church provided a storage unit and drop-off site for donations to Yale Park families. Sponsors have been using these donations to furnish new houses and apartments.
- A number of churches have sponsored several Yale Park families, including St. Cecilia Cathedral, Citylight Omaha, GraceHill Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Pius X , St. Wenceslaus and Relevant Community Church. Some volunteers have gone above and beyond to work with families, Wyble said, by providing after-school tutoring for kids and teaching families how to build furniture and do home upkeep.
- Thrasher Inc. donated more than $20,000 worth of labor and supplies last month to waterproof the basement of a former Yale Park family that moved out prior to the city shutting down the property.
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A woman packs outside an apartment at the Yale Park apartments on Friday.
A man carries a tote out of an apartment at the Yale Park apartments on Friday.
Inspectors were going door to door at the Yale Park apartments Friday.
A family hauls out belongings to trucks at the Yale Park apartments Friday.
Yale Park Apartments landlord Kay Anderson, center, with inspectors. Anderson said the city overreacted when it evacuated the complex’s residents.
Residents move personal belongings out of an apartment at the Yale Park Apartments, where inspectors found at least 2,500 code violations.
Residents load belongings out of their condemned apartments at the Yale Park apartments Friday.
A woman moves a large pot out of an apartment at the Yale Park apartments Friday.
A tenant hugs owner Kay Anderson (right) as the tenants move out of the Yale Park apartments Friday.
Children evacuated from the Yale Park Apartments are bused from Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church across from the complex to school Friday. Most of the children seemed to make it to school despite the upheaval of the day before, when about 98 families, all refugees from Myanmar, were displaced.
Children evacuated from the Yale Park Apartments at 34th and Lake Streets board school buses Friday morning across from the complex.
Lisa Utterback, executive director office of community & family engagement for OPS directs buses across from the Yale Park Apartments on Friday morning.
Lisa Utterback, with the Omaha Public Schools, hands blankets to students on Friday morning. Children evacuated from the Yale Park Apartments at 34th and Lake Streets were taken back to the area Friday to catch school buses.
Lisa Utterback, executive director of the office of community & family engagement for OPS, pulls blankets from the trunk of her car on Friday, handing them to students who needed them on a chilly morning.
A Metro Transit bus pulls away with school buses lined up behind. Children evacuated from the Yale Park Apartments at 34th and Lake Streets loaded onto the school buses Friday morning after being taken to the parking lot.