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Stepping up to serve: The Story of The Well

Recovery is unpredictable, and to survive is to be responsive. When there is an unmet need, fill it. When something isn’t working, change it up or adjust the approach. When there is a societal prejudice or bias, challenge it. This has been the story of The Well, both in our relationships with clients and in our growth as an organization. We see gaps in services within our community, then we fill them. 


The Well was founded on the seventh of March, 1991, as a halfway house for women. When the original halfway house closed, we switched gears and reopened as a dual disorder treatment facility. Gradually, our program grew from 10 treatment beds to 15 beds that included intermediate residential and respite services for women.

The Well has been helping people in the Norfolk area and throughout Nebraska ever since—recognizing we could create an environment for strong recovery but it had to follow people throughout their recovery journey. For years, we did good work on a small scale, and few people other than our clients even knew we were here. Over the past few years, that has changed.


We added Outpatient counseling and medication management services in 2016 as our first step towards walking alongside individuals after long-term treatment.


In 2019, we started our Community Support program, creating a network to connect our clients with the local people and resources who could help them with practical services like transportation, finances, food, and other basic needs.


Next we launched the Mommy & Me program in 2020. Caring for yourself while caring for a child is twice as challenging, and we believe both parents and children deserve an environment where they can heal.


That same year, we purchased an apartment building for Transitional and Supportive Living, providing an option to people in recovery who have a need for a safe, supportive, and substance-free home as they integrate back into the community.


In 2021 we added our Administrative/Outpatient office at 1203 8th Street. Not only did this provide a much better environment for our growing outpatient programs, it allowed us to add more robust services.


At the end of 2021 the men’s dual disorder house in Norfolk closed abruptly. The community was left without this service for several months, until we opened our men’s dual disorder program, giving a space to men in recovery from both substance use and mental health disorders.


That same year we added Open Access to provide walk-in services to ANY individual needing support such as postpartum mental health symptoms, substance use or mental health disorder evaluations, assistance with accessing resources, support for those recently experiencing hospitalization or detox or anyone interested in improving their life.


We stepped up to operate the regional/area Crisis Response Line, a 24-hour hotline for anyone in crisis to call, including family or professionals (health care providers, law enforcement, and school administrators) assisting others in crisis.


New programs in 2022 also included Circle of Security—a parenting class to help parents build skills, confidence, and personal networks for a more secure attachment with their child(ren.)


In 2023, The Well purchased the Northern Hills Child Care building, creating within another dimension of support for family members affected by mental health and substance use challenges – the children. Having a trauma-informed, secure-attachment based child care program in Norfolk is the first of its kind, and one we hope others will replicate throughout the country.

Continuum of Care

Our continuum of services allows The Well to ensure the people we serve don’t fall through the cracks of transferring care. Their situation changes? We have other treatment options that are better suited to their life needs. Most of the people we bring into services participate in several of our programs. It’s one reason we have such uncommonly good follow-through. And it’s why we’re able to stand by our promise:


We won’t give up on you.