Nebraska Lutheran Family Services cuts HQ space, but still grows

By: - August 7, 2023 6:11 pm

Lutheran Family Services, a Nebraska-wide human services and advocacy organization, has moved its headquarters from downtown Omaha to 7929 West Center Road. (Courtesy of Lutheran Family Services)

OMAHA — Nebraska’s 130-year-old Lutheran Family Services has settled into its new and smaller headquarters in central Omaha, and is making adjustments to some satellite sites across the state.

Many of the shifts respond to efficiencies honed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the statewide human services nonprofit had to pivot to more online services and remote working conditions.

With the continuation of a flexible work model, and growth of virtual services such as telehealth, there is less need for physical space, even as staff and demand for services have continued to expand, said spokeswoman Bev Carlson.

LFS had an open house last week at its new headquarters, 7929 West Center Road, where about 16,700 square feet of office and warehouse space replaces the larger 30,000-square-foot facility in downtown Omaha.

In addition to the headquarters move, LFS has smaller sites in the north, west and midtown areas of Omaha. It has a presence in towns including Lexington, Kearney and Grand Island and is expanding in communities such as Fremont.

Later this year, it is to open a refugee- and immigration-focused center at 324 S. 72nd St. in Omaha, a space currently under renovation. Some behavioral health programs also will be offered there.

Led by President and CEO Chris Tonniges, LFS said it has nearly 400 staff positions across Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa, a number that almost doubled in the last seven years. The nonprofit serves thousands of individuals and families through 47 programs in more than 70 Nebraska and Iowa counties.

Programs range from foster care to  mental health, housing and veterans services.

Carlson said continued use of telehealth videoconferencing services since the pandemic struck has expanded the footprint of the agency and allowed it to reach more people. LFS said that its revenue has grown 40% in the past two years.

Tonniges said the new headquarters location offers better commute times for Omaha-area workers.

Among speakers celebrating the open house event was State Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha, who noted that Tonniges and LFS advocate in the Legislature, including this past session for bills related to youths aging out of foster care, funding for translation services and access for Ukrainian refugees to drivers licenses.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.