Increase in Human Services Needs

Ongoing Human Services Needs in Lincoln

Lincoln's human services providers have recently experienced a dramatic increase in need among all age groups and income levels and across a wide variety of physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial issues.  However, it is important to remember that Lincoln has always had residents with a diversity of needs.  Below is a chart showing income among Lincoln residents from the US Census American Community Survey, 2010-2014.


Recently Increased Human Services Needs

Below are some indicators of how human services needs have increased in both number of requests for assistance and complexity of the situations that Lincoln residents face.

The Lincoln Emergency Assistance Fund

The Lincoln Emergency Assistance Fund, administered by the Council on Aging, provides financial support to residents in extreme financial crisis to prevent eviction and utility shut-off, pay medical bills, and meet other essential needs.  The Fund is supported entirely by grants and individual donations.

EAF data

Council on Aging Housing Interventions

In previous years, the Council on Aging has worked with approximately one resident of any age per year who was at risk of becoming homeless.  In FY18, we worked with five residents who were, or who were about to be homeless, not including those for whom the Emergency Assistance Committee simply paid back rent to prevent eviction. These residents included seniors with extreme disabilities and critical illness, young mothers with children, seniors at risk of abuse, and more. The need for temporary housing ranged from one day to three months.he St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry

The St. Vincent de Paul Society

The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry saw an increase of 63% in clients between just 2011 and 2017.


Starting in November 2017, a further large increase was observed: an additional 62% increase was seen between the average number of clients served per month between Jan and October 2017 and the average number of clients served between November 2017 and May 2018. In May 2018, the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry served 71 people living in 31 households. Approximately 80% of clients live in Lincoln.


Eliot Community Human Services

Between FY16 and FY17, Eliot Community Human Services, which provides mental health services, had a 20% increase in Lincoln residents and their problems are more complex.

Lincoln Parks and Recreation

Between 2000 and 2017, Lincoln Parks and Recreation has seen a 175% increase in the amount of financial aid requested ($5,000 to $14,000).

PRD data

The Domestic Violence Services Network

The Domestic Violence Services Network saw an increase in complexity of cases, especially related to mothers.

Jail Diversion

Jail Diversion had 5 referrals in 2016 and 19 in 2017, with an increase in complexity.