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The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services held an open house for its new North Omaha office, 5319 N. 30th St., Suite B, on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. The colorful abstract art in the office is intended to exemplify the community’s diversity. (Photo by Scott Stewart)

DHHS North Omaha Office Opens Doors

By Scott Stewart

The Daily Record

Community visitors were welcomed to explore a new state office last week that seeks to better serve North Omaha residents.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services opened a North Omaha office in June to house staff members from its Children and Family Services, Medicaid and Long Term Care divisions to provide community-based service delivery.

“It’s a new office,” said Kimberly C. Barnes, child/family services specialist supervisor for the Eastern Service Area of the Division of Child and Family Services. “What we’re charged to do is front-load family resources so that we can keep down the number of out-of-home placements.”

Services available at the new office, located at 5319 N. 30th St., Suite B, include application processing for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, and other economic assistance programs.

“Governor Rickett’s goals include developing a more efficient and effective state government and providing customer-focused services for Nebraskans,” Matthew Wallen, director of Children and Family Services, said in a June news release. “Adding an office in the North Omaha area meets both of those goals.”

The office held an open house on July 31 to show off its space at the 30 Metro mixed-use development across the street from Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha campus at the former site of Mister C’s restaurant.
“We have chosen to celebrate our strengthened connection with the North Omaha community during Native Omaha Days to demonstrate our commitment as a community partner,” DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith said in a news release. “We are meeting people where they are, respecting and honoring their local culture and aligning our services with the needs of those we serve.”

   The office has design, colors and artwork that reflect North Omaha. Barnes said the colorful abstract art exemplifies diversity.

   “This is why you see so many colors on the walls,” Barnes said.

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