United Way of the Midlands awards $50,000 grant to Easterseals Nebraska to fund BRIDGE program
Easterseals Nebraska (ESN) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands Karnett Trust. The Karnett Family Trust Grant funds programs that are focused on the care, education and training of children with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the Omaha metropolitan area.
The Easterseals Nebraska BRIDGE program facilitates decision making about employment for youth ages 14-21 who have diagnoses of intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and reside in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Washington or Cass county.
“Thank you to the Karnett Trust for supporting this meaningful program,” said Jamie Summerfelt, President and CEO of Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and Easterseals Nebraska. “Many lives will be positively impacted by this grant. Our BRIDGE program is a much-needed resource to help individuals reach self-sufficiency through employment opportunities.”
Many young adults living with disabilities are at risk of living in poverty and are interested in pursuing employment. However, they are fearful and oftentimes have misinformation and misconceptions about the impacts earned income could have on their cash and medical benefits. The rules governing these programs are complex and affect each individual differently depending on their circumstances.
BRIDGE program staff provide early access to benefits education, planning and individualized support to young adults (and their families) transitioning from school to work, vocational programs or higher education, so that they can make informed decisions about their continued education and employment, fully understand and utilize available state and federal work incentives, and receive assistance with benefit applications.
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