Safe Communities


Residents feel safe throughout the metro in the neighborhoods in which they live.

The Challenge:

According to the US Surgeon General, health and wellness are influenced by the places in which people live, learn, work, and play. Communities, including homes, schools, public spaces, and work sites, can be transformed to support well-being and make healthy choices easy and affordable. Healthy and safe community environments include those with clean air and water, affordable and secure housing, sustainable and economically vital neighborhoods, and supportive structures (e.g., violence-free places to be active).

The chronic stress associated with living in unsafe neighborhoods can accelerate aging and harm health. Unsafe neighborhoods can cause anxiety, depression, and stress, and are linked to higher rates of pre-term births and low birth weight babies, even when income is accounted for. Fear of violence can keep people indoors, away from neighbors, exercise, and healthy foods. (Community Health Rankings and Roadmaps)

Local Facts:

In Douglas County, 4.9% of residents have been a victim of violent crime in the past five years:

  • 9.2% of NE Omaha residents
  • 5.9% of SE Omaha residents
  • 3.6% of NW Omaha residents
  • 3.1% of SW Omaha residents (CHNA, 2015)

In Douglas County, 22.4% of residents perceive their own neighborhood as “slightly” or “not at all” safe:

  • 40.3% of NE Omaha residents
  • 35.8% of SE Omaha residents
  • 2.7% of Western Douglas Co. residents (CHNA, 2015)


% of residents that extremely or quite safe. (CHNA 2015 and 2018)

Examples of Safe Communities in Action:

Mayor Jean Stothert launched VisionZero campaign in Omaha to move the city and advocates together to make streets, sidewalks and neighborhoods safer for all users. This vision is continued via the Active Living Advisory Committee.

513 students impacted by neighborhood enhancements and school culture to bike and walk to school more days throughout the week via the Safe Routes to School initiative through Live Well Omaha Kids with funding from Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and CHI Health.

Empowerment Network, Charles Drew Health Center,
Latino Center of the Midlands, OneWorld Community
Health Centers, Inc. and Live Well Omaha implemented a Resident Voice series that engages neighbors in creating health solutions.

Empowerment Network, Omaha Police Department, and their community partners celebrated the lowest gun violence levels since 2005 in the Omaha metro via their coalition on violence prevention Omaha 360.

The list of milestones and partners is ever growing.

If you know of work happening in these Critical Health Issue areas or have additional Champions to list, please email them to