by Michelle DeRusha
After nearly seven years of planning, fundraising, design and construction, The Salvation Army’s
Heritage Place at Renaissance Village in Omaha, Neb., recently was dedicated. Central territorial leaders Commissioners Brad and Heidi Bailey joined Western divisional leaders Majors Greg and Lee Ann Thompson and Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, along with other city officials and more than 130 guests, to celebrate the opening of the new facility.
“This is a celebration of this strategically placed campus of miracles here in the heart of beautiful
Omaha,” said Commissioner Brad Bailey. “Much more than a dedication, today is a testament that we
cannot and will not remain in the shadows when confronted with the brokenness, isolation, injustice and loss suffered by our neighbors.”
The new 70,000-square-foot building houses The Salvation Army’s Mental Health Respite (MHR) program, a 28-day residential program that offers psychiatric stabilization, counseling, resources and independent living skills training to men and women, age 19 and older. Other programs at Heritage Place include the Early Head Start program for children up to age three; Wellspring, which helps people escape and overcome prostitution and sex trafficking; community support programs; and Veterans Affairs programs. Additional buildings in the Renaissance Village campus include the Omaha Citadel Corps, Dora Bingel Senior Center, Durham Booth Manor and Lyle Apartments.
Daniel Grimes was one of the first people to move into the new residential apartments at Heritage Place. Addicted to crack cocaine, suicidal, unemployed and homeless, he had lost all hope when he sought help at The Salvation Army. Today Daniel is in recovery and appreciates he can maintain independence while still benefitting from the support of the MHR staff.
“If I hadn’t come to The Salvation Army, I’d be either in my grave or in prison,” Daniel said. “I
thank God I met the staff at MHR.” “This space is all about people,” said Major Lee Ann Thompson,
officer in charge of the Heritage Place project. “People touching the lives of other people.”
She continued, “We are so grateful to all of our community partners whose generous donations
helped to make this building a reality.” More than $25 million was raised through the Army’s Building
Hope Capital Campaign.
“This dedication ceremony is the beginning of the future for the many people who come to The Salvation Army for help,” said Mayor Stothert. “‘Doing the Most Good’ is more than a slogan,” she
added. “It is the mission of The Salvation Army, and the city of Omaha is proud to support that mission.”