Branching Out Independent Living

Independent Living

Branching Out is Omaha Home for Boys Independent Living Program that helps young adults develop the skills and confidence needed to live self-sufficient, productive lives. 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.

Independence is the Goal

The young men and women who seek the guidance of Branching Out face a number of daunting obstacles, yet they all have one thing in common:  the desire to become independent, self-sufficient adults. Branching Out serves as a resource for these young adults as they navigate the transition to becoming constructive, self-supporting members of the community.

Who We Serve

Branching Out serves young men and women ages 14 to 26 who are current or former state wards. These young adults live on their own in the community but are often living in a state of crisis. Upon joining the Branching Out Program these young adults become part of a community of growing young adults who are supported by their peers and the caring Branching Out staff.

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.

Steps to Self-Sufficiency

The Branching Out Program consists of three phases that help youth work toward independence:

Introductory Phase

Youth build the foundation needed to complete the rest of the program requirements.

  • Create a budget
  • Complete a resume
  • Attend public transportation training
  • Obtain vital documents
  • Complete courses in time management, goal setting or cooking

Building Phase

Youth focus on key areas to build their self-sufficiency.

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Employment

Self-Sufficiency Phase

Youth act as peer supporters and mentors to others participating in the first two phases of the program.


Any current or former state ward between the ages of 14 and 26 at the time of admission may apply to Branching Out. Individuals over the age of 19 may self-refer to enroll while applicants 19 and younger need a referral from a caseworker.

Interested youth must first complete an application to Branching out. Applicants will then be scheduled for an orientation meeting with a Branching Out Independent Living Specialist.


Mary Marrero
Independent Living Housing & Education Manager
Please contact Mary with any referrals or admissions.

919 N. 48th Street, Omaha, NE 68104

402.558.0366 Ext. 106  | F 402.558.7184

Keenan Page
Independent Living Employment Manager

919 N. 48th Street, Omaha, NE 68104

402.558.0366 Ext. 111  | F 402.558.7184

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.