The University of Nebraska at Kearney is transitioning flood victims out of its residence halls into other housing in the community, while continuing its work with travelers and hotel guests who were evacuated and are now returning home.
UNK will close Centennial Towers West to guests at 11 a.m. Monday (July 15). The university also is reducing its cafeteria hours over the weekend and will offer only brunch and dinner to flood victims.
UNK, along with the Salvation Army and Kearney Housing Agency, is working with Kearney and other area residents left homeless or who remain displaced by the floods.
“Those agencies are coordinating housing needs moving forward. New Life Church will offer shelter to area residents who continue to have a need,” said Todd Gottula, senior director of communications and marketing at UNK.
People who need long-term housing assistance after Monday should contact the Kearney Housing Agency at 308-234-3000 or stop at 2715 I Ave. in Kearney. The Salvation Army is located at 1719 Central Ave. in Kearney and can be reached at 308-234-9998.
UNK opened two of its residence halls on campus Tuesday after many area residents and travelers were evacuated from their homes and hotel properties in Kearney. More than 330 people occupied rooms at UNK and received meals from UNK Dining Services at no cost.
As of Friday, less than 50 people remained in Centennial Towers West residence hall at UNK. About 20 of those are employees of Kearney hotels who UNK has agreed to house long-term.
“So many people and organizations across Kearney stepped up to help,” Gottula said. “Housing and meals were two major needs, and UNK was happy to assist in those areas. We hope we were able to provide some comfort in their time of need.”
In addition to offering housing and meals, UNK worked with numerous agencies to provide transportation to airports across the state, lined up rental cars for those impacted and offered daily shuttle service in Kearney.
The university also is working with Kearney hotels to host weddings, business conferences and other parties and events that had to be relocated due to flooding.