New Visions Homeless Services, was founded in 1995 in Council Bluffs by Reverend Harry and Ginny Wallar with a mission of feeding the homeless and hungry. Beginning as the “Mobile Kitchen”, New Visions provided nightly meals to the homeless and hungry from a bus under the Council Bluffs viaduct. For two years, the bus would remain in the same spot every night, seven days a week, until Pastor Wallar and his committed team built a new facility, naming it MOHM’s Place and began to provide thousands of meals annually to hungry men, women, and children. A short time later, as community need increased, MOHM’s Place expanded and began providing shelter, transitional living, increased meals, and support services for the homeless.
In September 2008, New Visions built the “New Visions Complex” in Council Bluffs, the first facility in Southwest Iowa that provided a 62 bed men’s shelter, 26 permanent supportive housing facility for single men and single women, a meal site that would seat 250, and an administration building for the homeless and near-homeless. In 2016, New Visions provided 36,500 nights of shelter to 741 men in our emergency shelter Joshua House, served over 90,000 meals to 2,400 hungry men, women and children in our community meal site, and provided 9,360 nights of housing to 32 chronically homeless men and women through our permanent supportive housing facility.
In 2012, “New Visions Omaha” was built, providing 26 transitional living units for veterans at no cost to the veteran and an additional 14 permanent supportive housing units for the veterans to discharge to if they are still in need of supportive services. The campus is the only facility of its kind in the Midwest. In 2016, New Visions provided 14,600 nights of transitional/permanent supportive housing to 48 veterans that would have been living in a shelter or on the streets instead of their own fully furnished apartment.
In both locations, clients are provided with individualized case management, therapy, job-training, budgeting education, and community support services. In addition, New Visions has established job-training opportunities for the clients they serve, as well as supplemental operating funding, through MOHM’s Place Thrift Warehouse and a lawn and snow removal service with established accounts throughout the community.