Branching Out Independent Living

Independent Living

The Branching Out® Independent Living program increases the self-sufficiency of current and former foster care youth by helping them build the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to thrive on their own. The program serves young men and women ages 14 to 24 who wish to become part of a community of thriving young adults supported by the caring Branching Out staff.

Young adults in Branching Out have access to social services, life skills development, education assistance, scholarships, workforce readiness training and housing assistance. Independent Living Specialists work with youth throughout their time in the program and in the final phase of Branching Out, clients have the opportunity to become peer mentors.

Meeting A Need

Studies show once young men and women involuntarily leave foster care, they face greater challenges and risks to their success than other youth. These risks include less likelihood of completing education goals, finding safe and affordable housing, obtaining and maintaining jobs and utilizing community resources. Young men are at significant risk to have contact with law enforcement and be incarcerated, creating a strain on both the young adult and the system at large.

The Omaha Home for Boys’ Branching Out program aims to keep youth from falling through these gaps. Support, communication and planning are all equally important to ensuring the youth can maintain self-sustained, independent living after program completion.

Transitioning to Independence

Branching Out staff assist each participant in creating a personalized independent living plan, which helps establish long-term and short-term goals, education options and employment prospects.

The Introductory Phase of the program focuses on helping youth master the basic skills needed to successfully complete the remainder of the program. Youth secure their vital documents, build their resume, undergo bus training, take budgeting courses and set goals. In the Building Phase, youth select a growth area, either education, employment or housing, depending on where he or she has the greatest need. Any finally, the optional Self-Sufficiency Phase, allows youth to act as peer mentors for others in the program.


Any young adult between the ages of 14 and 24 who is a current or former state ward may apply to Branching Out. Individuals 19 and older may self-refer to enroll while applicants under the age of 19 need a parent or legal guardian to enroll them.

Once accepted, applicants will be scheduled for an intake and information session to review the program expectations.


Keenan Page
Independent Living Employment Manager

402.457.7189 | F 402.457.7111

Mary Marrero
Independent Living Education Manager

402.457.7186 | F 402.457.7111

Youth Mart

Youth Mart is a donation center housed on the Omaha Home for Boys’ campus that collects household essentials, hygiene products, furniture and clothing and redistributes these much needed items to at-risk youth in our community. Youth Mart allows young adults to shop free-of-charge for supplies and essentials needed to establish their own apartment or other independent living environment. Many of Youth Mart’s clients are current or former Omaha Home for Boys’ youth.

Donations are always needed to keep the shelves at Youth Mart stocked. Household basics, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, clothing for young adults, furniture and baby/toddler essentials are a few of the items in high demand at Youth Mart.


To donate, call Youth Mart at 402.457.7002 to schedule a drop-off time or pick-up time.* You may also purchase and ship items directly to Youth Mart via our Amazon Wish List.

Tuesday & Thursday – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Address – 4343 N 52nd Street, Omaha, NE 68104


Youth Mart Facebook Page

*Please note that due to limited volunteers and other resources the only donations we are able to pick up from your location are sofas, dining sets and dressers. All other donations must be dropped off at Youth Mart.