Healthy Blue Helps Bring Homeless Services to Lexington!

February 7, 2023

Crossroads Mission Avenue is pleased to receive a donation of $80,000 from Healthy Blue toward their Lexington Capital Campaign to bring homeless services to Dawson County. The recently purchased building at 907 W 8th St in Lexington currently houses the Mission Avenue Thrift store, which is a vital component of Crossroads’ sustainability. When fundraising for the capital campaign is completed, renovations of the building will begin in order to meet the current needs in Central Nebraska. Crossroads expects to begin construction in early 2024, bringing emergency shelter services and transitional housing options to Dawson County residents.

Healthy Blue has a long history of impacting Nebraska families with their dedication to improving lives and promoting healthier communities. Noting Crossroads’ expansion into Lexington, Healthy Blue offered the Mission a generous grant in 2022, providing assistance in serving individuals and families in the Lexington and Kearney areas who are experiencing food insecurity. Healthy Blue’s initial investment allowed Crossroads to purchase a commercial refrigeration unit for the Kearney shelter, assist in the purchase of a delivery van, and to supply additional advertising of Crossroads’ services to the Central Nebraska region, getting the word out so that those who need help are aware of Crossroads services.

With a true concern for the health of Nebraskans, Healthy Blue seeks to make a purposeful impact with their donation. A core value of Crossroads Mission Avenue is to care for those in need in Central Nebraska. With the demands for food services increasing, this partnership will bring relief to many families experiencing food insecurities. Last year, Crossroads experienced a 60% increase in meals served in their Central Nebraska locations, and a 52% increase in meals served at their shelters. This partnership is helping to meet the needs of Nebraska families, as the economic demands continue to rise. The addition of a Crossroads Mission Avenue shelter in Lexington will bring needed relief in the mid-Nebraska region, as emergency shelter services are scarce from Kearney westward.

Daniel Buller, Executive Director of Crossroads Mission Avenue says of the partnership with Healthy Blue, “Crossroads Mission Avenue and Healthy Blue Nebraska share similar values, and work to provide services that improve people’s lives and promote healthier communities. As we continue to campaign with the goal of providing homeless shelter services and transitional living services for Lexington and the surrounding region, we are so pleased to accept this generous lead gift of $80,000 and we value our partnership with Healthy Blue Nebraska on this project. On behalf of Crossroads,  our Board of Directors, and those we serve, we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to Healthy Blue Nebraska and their team. To those experiencing homelessness and needing assistance, we say – help is on the way!” 

Crossroads Mission Avenue has been serving the homeless in Central Nebraska  for 40 years, with locations in Kearney, Grand Island, Hastings, and with a shelter expected soon in Lexington. They provide comprehensive care in a nurturing  environment, including services such as safe shelter, hot meals, life skills classes, and personalized case management to help their guests gain employment, financial independence and stable housing. The transitional housing component allows guests to take the next step in their recovery with supportive services close-by, and before moving on to complete independence and self-sufficiency. These steps equip Crossroads guests for successful living after their time at the shelter and lead to homelessness prevention. 

In 2022, Crossroads Mission Avenue served 1,103 men, women and children in Central Nebraska by providing almost 65,000 nights of stay for the needy. Completion of the nearly $1.5 million dollar project will provide supportive services to homeless and needy Lexington residents, and affordable housing options for Dawson County. The renovated building will include housing for homeless individuals with emergency shelter beds as well as transitional living apartments for individuals coming out of the 4-Phase Recovery program, or those referred by another agency. Crossroads Mission Avenue’s housing model provides a safe, sober, and clean living scenario which restores dignity to each individual.

In January, the Mission Avenue Thrift store opened at the 907 W 8th St location, and will operate there until renovations begin. Each Crossroads Mission Avenue location includes a Mission Avenue Thrift Store which provides local employment and volunteer opportunities, while providing a local option for low-cost clothing and household goods. Sales from the thrift stores directly support the homeless ministry in each location, and are an essential part of Crossroads’ sustainability model. Once fundraising has been completed, and construction begins, Crossroads will move the Lexington Mission Avenue Thrift Store to a permanent location.

Crossroads Mission Avenue’s mission is to bring glory to God through the helping of people.  Homelessness recovery is a long, complicated process for many of their guests, and step by step, Crossroads is there to help them in that process.