Bethlehem House Offers Hope...And A Home

A little know charity here in Omaha gives homeless pregnant women a chance to get back on their feet.

It hasn't been an easy road for Kimberly Deleau. A divorce left her homeless-and fighting an addiction.

Deleau says, "That was a way to cope, to hide my feelings because I was hurting so bad."

When Kimberly found out she was pregnant, she didn't know where to turn. She was sent to the Bethlehem House, a charity serving women like her since 2005.

Gina Tomes runs the home. She has a social work background. Gina makes it her mission to get these women ready for the outside world.

Tomes says, "80% of the women who leave here enroll in college."

Tomes says women have to take classes while they stay at Bethlehem House. They have to abide by the rules of the house. They also eat dinner together as a family.

Tomes says, "The bottom line is when they leave, they feel a sense of stability, they have a life plan. We don't have a magical answer for them, but we're here to help them figure it out."

Tomes says the need has tripled in the last year and a half. The home has 12 rooms, but they can only fill five of them right now.

A grant recently ran out, and the charity is looking for other ways to make up the funding.

Tomes says, "The minute that funding is in place, we will be full."

Tomes is the only full-time employee. She is a new mother herself, but says she finds a balance. Her work at Bethlehem House is important.

Tomes says, "We're changing lives. These women leave here with a sense of family."

Kimberly Deleau did. She has a husband, and apartment, and is getting a degree. She wants to give her newborn daughter the best education she can.

Deleau says, "I have a new hope. I know I can accomplish things."

Bethlehem House is asking families to join its "Century Club." They hope families will be willing to donate $100 a year to help the home.

If you would like to donate items, Bethlehem House needs paper towels and cleaning supplies.

For more information, go to bethlehemhouseomaha.org.


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