Art And Soup Combine To Help The Needs Of The Homeless

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- An appreciation of art and a need to help the homeless combine. Hundreds of people spent their Sunday at the 16th Annual Art And Soup benefit for the Visiting Nurses Association.

"This is the best fund raiser in Omaha because it's the best food and the best art," said Sara Sumnick-Wamsat, a featured artist of the event.

The VNA will use the money raised on health care for the homeless.

"This is a good way for people to come out and say 'Ok, I do see what the problem is. I want to help,'" said George Kleine, of the VNA.

"The services that we provide in the homeless shelters are not something that we can bill for. Insurance companies don't cover it's not covered by medi-care or medi-cade," said Betty Cernech of the VNA.

The goal of the event was to raise $150,000. The VNA said there's an increase in homelessness in the area. So that money made would help nurses reach out to the community more.

"They will see about 3,000 or more homeless people every year and help them make sure that their health needs are getting met. Because that's kind of something that goes on the back burner when you're homeless or near homeless," said Cernech.

The VNA says it's seeing more youth on that back burner without places to live.

"Our young people, you know, they're our future. And so we want them to be healthy and well," said Cernech.

"The women and children on the streets, it's one of the biggest, biggest parts of VNA and I love that this all goes toward that," said Sumnick-Wamsat.

The VNA's goal for the year is to raise $300,000.