Heartland Family Works

The Road to Recovery

Heartland Family Services realized the need to provide specialized care for women with children and pregnant women; providing them with a safe place to live while seeking treatment for substance abuse, and spaces for the complementary programming that helps get these families back on their feet.  Tasked with being good stewards of the client’s resources, and met with the challenge of bringing new life to a derelict apartment building, the design team turned to modernist principles, using the contrast of warm colors and textures to complement the cool palate of the existing concrete. The result is a space with a residential feel that is timeless and durable, and a hopeful place of healing for the families who live there.


Omaha, Nebraska

73,000 SF

Scope of Work
Renovation + Addition

Date of Completion 

Honors + Awards
2017 AIA Housing Design Awards, Specialized Housing

Project Contact
Nancy Novak

The programs at Heartland Family Works are unique. They are designed primarily to support low income women – affording them time and space to heal while keeping their children with them. This approach results in improved health outcomes, but provided unique design challenges related to space planning for women, children, and staff. The facilities include 21 two-bedroom residential units, and three three-bedroom units. Also included in the building are educational spaces, therapy spaces, common rooms, fitness center, preschool, staff and administrative space, and more.

Design dictated existing exterior circulation needed to be enclosed as indoor space. This enclosure covered the building’s signature exposed concrete T-beam floor structure on the north side. Lens windows were strategically placed across the façade to help expose some of the structural details while giving the building a more residential scale.

Photography by Dana Damewood Photography

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General Inquiries


Careers Inquiries + Co-Lab

Seraphim Mullins

Request for Proposal

Anne Hillen

Press + Advertising

Mimi True

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