Fresh Start Home, 6433 Havelock Ave., helps women change their lives and recognizing and using their strengths to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.

The 25-year-old agency is marking its 10th year in Havelock, where it offers a safe, structured, alcohol- and drug-free environment for women (19 years and older) invested in attaining self-sufficiency. The agency currently has 70 women on its waiting list, said Monica Zinke, the nonprofit’s executive director the past nine years.

“Moving to Havelock provided increased space and an opportunity to serve more women,” said Zinke, “but the demand for our services far exceeds what we’re able to provide.”

Zinke said Fresh Start currently has 10 employees and an annual budget of $690,000, but $150,000 of that is in the form of a grant that will expire in August of next year and will not be renewed, likely leading to 2 fewer employees. Fresh Start’s small but vital staff operates the building around the clock.

You can help

Fresh Start accepts all kinds of items such as household cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, gently used women’s clothing, bus passes and gas cards, as well as non-perishable food items such as coffee and canned goods.

Clothing and other household items donations can be dropped off at the back door by calling the office at (402) 475-7777 and stopping by between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

Daisy marks 10 years

Zinke added that The Daisy Thrift Store, located inside the Fresh Start building, remains a key contributor to its existence. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, the thrift shop raised $41,000 last year and raised a record-high $43,000 several years ago. The thrift shop is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 4 to 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.

“That’s quite an impressive figure for the limited hours it’s open,” said Zinke.

Items sold at The Daisy come in the form of donated women’s clothing, accessories and small household items. To volunteer at The Daisy, call (402) 475-7777.


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