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

Saint Vincent de Paul (SVdP) runs the local food pantry at St. Joseph’s Church in Lincoln. They also provide monitory assistance to individuals and families in dire financial trouble. SVdP clients primarily live or work in Lincoln or Weston. Between Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2018, there has been a 203% increase in the average number of Food Pantry clients served. 


Between January  2017 and October 2018, the average monthly number of clients served increased 167%.


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

Eliot Community Human Services

Between FY 2016 and FY 2018, Eliot Community Human Services, which provides mental health services, has seen an increase in usage by Lincoln Residents. Specifically there was a 14% increase in Lincoln Residents served, an 8% increase in the number of mental health session utilized, and at 19% in the number of hours of service provided. Additionally, the Eliot reports that individuals accessing this resource are coming in with a more complex set of problems.

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.