Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach (MTKO) is a faith-based hunger relief and outreach program that was established in 1992. Devoted to serving homeless and near homeless men, women, and children, MTKO provides meals twice daily, everyday of the year. We have also expanded our services to include education, outreach and advocacy. MTKO also assists a growing number of working poor families with crisis assistance to prevent their homelessness.
Our extensive outreach and advocacy programs include such services as on-site monthly health clinics, basic and emergency needs, life skills training, transitional housing, case management, nutrition counseling, and vision care. Above all, we believe in providing a warm meal, open heart, and unconditional love to all who walk through our doors. MTKO depends primarily on the time, talents, and financial contributions of its generous volunteers for hunger relief.
Ann Heydt, Case Manager at MTKO, works in collaboration with the Lincoln Housing Authority to help people who are homeless become successfully housed. The Homeless Voucher Program allows individuals and families to receive a housing subsidy while being case managed and actively working on goals to improve their lives. We have seen this program have a tremendous positive impact on people’s lives. Today I’d like to share Christine’s story with you.
Christine, pictured above, became homeless after leaving an abusive relationship and being evicted from her apartment. She stayed in shelters or with friends for two years before having the opportunity to participate in the Homeless Voucher Program. She began meeting with Ann on a regular basis and found an apartment, allowing her to focus on areas of her life she wanted to improve. Despite physical and mental health struggles, Christine was motivated to continue to make positive changes in her life and learn new skills. A year and a half later, she began receiving disability benefits.
With a roof over her head and income coming in, she began piecing her life back together. Her monthly bills not only are paid, but she is ahead on them. She bought a car, paid off some debt, and consistently volunteers doing office work to learn new computer skills. Christine regularly sees her doctor and counselor to help her develop healthy habits and coping skills, and she continues to build her parenting skills and her relationship with her 12-year old daughter. She has shown constant motivation to improve her situation and is thankful for the opportunity to develop a good quality of life. All she needed was support, encouragement, and hope that her present and future could be better than her past.
This is one of the many success stories that results from MTKO’s intensive case management outreach programs. With this kind of support, clients can rebuild their lives after leaving abusive relationships, suffering health crises, or battling substance abuse. Thanks to the generosity of the Lincoln community, MTKO can offer this kind of life-changing outreach service to help people improve their lives and become more self sufficient.
Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach, Lincoln's largest community kitchen and outreach center, still needs over 500 volunteers of all ages to help with the 18th Annual "Huskers Helping the Homeless" on Saturday, September 20th prior to the Nebraska vs. Miami football game. To date, we have had fewer people sign up to help this year, and we have an urgent need for volunteers in the downtown area to accept monetary donations on behalf of MTKO and in turn the working poor, homeless and hungry men, women and children of our community.
Shifts are still available at some of our community locations for those volunteers who do not wish to be downtown on game day. Go to www.mtkserves.org to see all the volunteer options and to register to volunteer.
Large groups are encouraged to volunteer together. Contact Joy Blythe, Coordinator of Volunteers (firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-477-4116), for more information.
To make a donation to Huskers Helping the Homeless, please send your tax-deductible gift to Matt Talbot Kitchen Outreach marked Huskers Helping the Homeless, 2121 N. 27th Street PO Box 80935, Lincoln, NE 68501. Thanks for your support!
Please help support this very positive community event and be a champion for the homeless.
Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is a hunger relief and outreach center for those in need. last year Matt Talbot provided 1,071,207 nutritious meals to the hungry in Lincoln and provided nearly 21,000 homeless prevention services such as transitional housing, case management, drug & alcohol evaluations, life skills classes, nutrition counseling, and help with obtaining vital identification documents. Learn more at www.mtkserves.org.