Children and Youth Unable to Live at Home

For those children and youth who are unable to live at home due to abuse, neglect, homelessness, running away or family crises, CEDARS provides an array of safe places to stay that offer structure and support while working to facilitate a successful transition to a more permanent living situation.

  • CEDARS foster families provide a welcoming home to children and youth, ages birth to 19, who are unable to live safely at home. Our foster care program helps a child move from crisis to a stable situation all the while working to either return the child home safely or find permanency in the form of adoption, guardianship, or independent living. CEDARS provides respite care and support groups for children and families, as well as 24-hour support and high-quality, on-going training for the foster family.

  • CEDARS Emergency Shelter

    CEDARS Emergency Shelter provides short-term care to youth, ages 12 to 18, who do not have immediate access to a safe living arrangement. Circumstances could include, but are not limited to: family homelessness; hospitalization of a parent; history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence; or interruption of a foster care placement or short-term respite care. CEDARS Emergency Shelter has been in operation since 1947.

  • Bridges offers community-based safe housing and support services to Probation and/or state ward youth ages 17 to 19 for whom independent living has been identified as a goal. The Bridges program may also serve pregnant or parenting youth who are homeless ages 17-24. Staff work closely with youth to develop life skills needed for independent living. Emphasis is placed on continuing the youth's formal education and achieving or maintaining employment while supporting their placement in apartments in the community. Please fill out the contact form and a housing or outreach specialist will contact you. Alternatively you may complete the downloadable contact form and return it to the mailing address indicated. You may also call 402-437-8850 to speak with a housing or outreach specialist.

  • Street Outreach Services

    CEDARS Street Outreach Services (SOS) provides street-based assistance to runaway, homeless and at-risk youth (13-21) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Without pressure or judgment, Street Outreach staff members support homeless youth as they work to leave the streets for safe shelter, secure permanent living arrangements or reunite with their families. The team operates out of the CEDARS Youth Opportunity Center, where any runaway, at-risk or homeless youth may drop in to receive assistance.

To learn more about any of CEDARS services, please call 402-434-5437 or email

Alicia supports youth who aren't able to live at home as they come into emergency care at CEDARS Pioneers Center. Read her interview.

We asked youth at the Youth Opportunity Center what they wanted you to know about them. Here are their answers.