The leadership of the Heart Ministry Center has passed to a 2000 Creighton University journalism graduate who, in 2008, earned a law degree from the University of Florida School of Law. Jim Clements has been at the helm of the north Omaha nonprofit since July.
The center is a familiar cause to Clements, who in recent years provided free legal services to the center and served as a presenter for its Pathway program, which is designed to help single mothers achieve self-sufficiency.
As executive director Clements will oversee the center’s extensive array of services, which include a food pantry, a partnership with Creighton University to provide free medical care, a group-mentoring program for at-risk youth and a dental clinic, among other social and case management services.
It is a cause, Clements said, that appeals both to his heart and his head.
“I had been involved in the center before and helped out with pro bono legal services,” he said. “It’s just an organization that I felt was really good at helping people in the community, and so when the position came open it was just something I wanted to be part of.”
The center’s philosophy, Clement said, is to lead people to self-sufficiency.
“The pantry, food, clothing, health care, dental care are all ways to get people in the door,” he said. “Obviously, if you need those things, that will be first on your mind. But our long-term goal is to get people to self-sufficiency, to get them jobs and help them break that cycle of poverty.
“That takes a lot of time and work. They didn’t get into that situation overnight, and to get them out of it takes a lot of time too.”