An Omaha nonprofit that emerged from the 1975 tornado is growing stronger than ever
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – 46 years after Omaha was hit by a tornado, the nonprofit that emerged from that disaster is stronger than ever.
Photos dated May 6, 1975 now hang on the walls of Together Inc. “These pictures are a constant reminder of what our job at Together is,” said Mike Hornacek, CEO of Together Inc. “Whether it’s a tornado or a flood or a pandemic, a personal crisis, our job is to be there. “
It was a job that began on that tragic day when the tornado that covered 2,000 square feet of Omaha cost three lives and displaced nearly 1,500 more. In response, a handful of churches and the Temple of Israel came together.
“A group of people from seven different faith organizations with very strong beliefs in their own teachings came together to respond to a major crisis,” said Hornacek. “Forty-six years later, we’re still here to create what we know as ‘Together’, to provide shelter, food and clothing, and more amazing.”
But they are doing it on a much larger scale, perfectly positioned to respond to the pandemic.
“When the community needed help the most, we were there and people came to us for help,” said Hornacek. “It was pretty clear how the cars were lined up each day and what calls we were getting for rental assistance.”
An unprecedented need for months of help with rent and food, serving four times as many people as normal through the pantry. Last year Together bought the old 11-Worth Cafe building to make room for expansion. “As we continue to respond to the pandemic and community needs, we will set up some temporary offices here to hire some staff,” said Hornacek, noting that they will do whatever they can to keep meeting the needs just like the founders did before 46 years.
“I think they would be really proud of what we have become today,” said Hornacek. “How the community sees us, how they support us and how people know that they can come to us when they need help and trust us,” said Hornacek.
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