Student Services Contact Form

If you cannot find assistance on this page, please click here to complete our contact form so our staff can follow up with you.

Des Moines Public Schools is committed to providing as many connections to services for students and families as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. We know these are challenging times and our staff will continue to work tirelessly to find as many resources for families as possible. Please check back regularly as this list will be updated.

Adult Programs

St. Vincent de Paul

All listed classes are offered to the public. Go to to sign-up or call 515-282-8327, ext. 150 at least one day in advance to register for classes. Space is limited and schedules are subject to change.

  • Retail Management Class
    This is a Retail Management Apprenticeship virtual program which equals 144 hours of contact time for eight courses. The class is geared toward St. Vincent de Paul retail key holders and managers. Back2Work (Job Training Program) *This program takes participants through two weeks of classroom training and connects them with career pathway opportunities! Classes run for 8 days and are held every other month.
  • Financial Literacy
    Learn about goal setting, budgeting, and strategies to help you become more financially organized and stable. This class will be offered monthly as requested. Resume Writing * This class takes your employment history and helps you create a clean and precise resume and references. This class is help monthly or by making an appointment with Education Center Staff. Healthy Relationships *This course consists of two sessions where our staff instruct six pillars centered around open communication skills. When participants learn more tools to learn how to communicate, they are able to build a stronger relationship together.
  • IMMERSION /Prison Re-Entry Program
    Are you or a loved one in need of support while re-entering society from incarceration? Our IMMERSION program may be able to help. Give us a call at (515) 282-8327 ext. 590 to learn more!

DMACC Adult Literacy Center (ALC)

DMACC Adult Literacy Center (ALC) can help adults improve reading, writing, and speaking skills To enroll, request an application by calling 515-248-7517, emailing, or visiting

Adult learners have two paths to receive FREE literacy instruction: 1) one-to-one for 1 1/2 hours a week with a volunteer literacy coach; and/or 2) online computer-based learning, anywhere/anytime. Adults receive the support they need (both virtually and in-person) to improve basic literacy skills and to work toward life goals. Learning sessions occur virtually and/or face-to-face.
To volunteer as a one-to-one literacy coach, visit

Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites open on January 24th! Sites will be located at the United Way of Central Iowa office and at Polk County River Place. Individuals and families who meet the household income thresholds within one year qualify to receive free tax preparation through our VITA program. More information can be found in the attached flyer.


If You Need Childcare Options

If you need childcare options: Call 1-855-244-5301 or go to

If You Are a Provider and Need Support

If you are a provider and need support:

How to Plan If a Caregiver Becomes Ill:

Highland Park Community Church

Highland Park Community Church
4101 Amherst Street
Daycare | Before-care | Aftercare


  • Completion of online assignments from school
  • STEM activities
  • Box lunch provided by the school system
  • Outdoor recess when possible
  • Extra math, reading, & history lessons
  • Arts/crafts activities
  • Outdoor games when possible
  • Desk top & laptop computers available with Wifi access
  • Classrooms equipped with Smart TV’s and DVD players for moral, educational, and character development programming.

Grades of children must be Kindergarten-8th grade

FREE Before-care availability from 7-7:45 AM. $2 aftercare availability from 3 PM to 6 PM (for employment reasons only) 2. Child care facility procedures are being followed. This includes daily temperature checks of staff and students upon arrival, assigned seats, cleaning throughout the day, and masks when in close proximity for extended times with children.

Questions? Contact Pastor Philip Herman at or call 515-444-7698

** This is not a Des Moines Public Schools publication and is being provided as a courtesy to inform you of other community activities and opportunities available. to

Clothing Assistance

Capitol Hill Lutheran Church

Capitol Hill Lutheran Church
511 Des Moines St. Des Moines

Call the office church office at 515-244-8913 or inquire:

Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Central Iowa Shelter & Services
1420 Mulberry St.

Clothing, including warm winter clothing when available. For information about clothing status, contact Melissa Gradischnig at (515) 564-5752 or For more information about CISS:

EveryStep Holiday Assistance Guide

Food, Utilities, Coats, and Toys. Please see attachment.

Dress for Success

Dress for Success
6000 Grand Ave.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. For more information, visit: or call: 515-288-0130

Eddie Davis Community Center

Eddie Davis Community Center
1312 Grand Ave, West Des Moines

Open Monday- Friday, Noon -4 p.m. For more information: or call 515-277-1103.

The Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families

During this unprecedented time, the Evelyn K. Davis Center is continuing to provide phone and web-delivered services. Their job developers have all the tools needed to work one-on-one and services like resume development and connections to employers can still take place.

Please call 515-697-7700: leave a message as all calls are being received and directed to staff. Or, book an appointment with a Financial Coach online:

Highland Park Christian Church

Highland Park Christian Church
4250 NW 6th St

The Clothes Closet is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11 a.m.
View the HPCC calendar here: GOOGLE CALENDAR
Location: 4260 NW 6th Dr. | Des Moines, IA 50313
Phone: (515) 244-3182

Imani Family Church

Imani Family Church
815 8th St., West Des Moines

Fashionable clothing for teens and young adults. Open Tuesdays and Thursday from 5:30- 7:00 p.m.

St. Vincent De Paul

St. Vincent De Paul
Make an appointment at either location:

  • 1426 6th Avenue: 515-282-8327 Ext. 14
  • 520 Army Post Road: 515-282-8328 Ext. 30

For more information:

Zion Church

Zion Church
4300 Beaver Ave.

Used clothing for children and adults as well as bedding and some housewares are available free of charge. Located 4300 Beaver Ave. For other resources: Contact the office at 270-8142 or

Currently Closed Due to COVID But Will Reopen When Possible

Currently closed due to COVID but will reopen when possible:

Domestic Violence/Victims Services

Due to COVID-19, most agencies will be working remotely. Victim service programs across the state are still available to provide 24/7 free and confidential services to survivors and their family members in all 99 counties. Programs in your area may be adjusting their services to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We recommend checking in with your local program to see what services look like in your area.

24-hour Crisis Hotlines

  • Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline – Call 1-800-770-1650 or text “IOWAHELP” to 20121. Free and confidential phone services
  • Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline – (800) 284-7821
  • Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) – (515) 286-3600

Agencies Serving Polk County

  • Children and Families of Iowa (domestic violence, emergency shelter) – (515) 471-8699 / Crisis Line: (800) 942-0333 (Counties: Polk and Warren)
  • L.U.N.A (domestic violence, sexual abuse – Latinx Community) – 1-866-256-7668 (24-hour crisis line) (Counties: Polk, Warren and Marshall)
  • Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (domestic violence, sexual abuse – Asian/Pacific Islander Community) – (515) 288-0881 (24 hour crisis line) click here for COVID-19 public letter; click here for policy (Counties: Statewide)
  • NISAA (domestic abuse, sexual assault – African Immigrant & Refugee Community) – (515) 288-0881 (24 hour crisis line) (Counties: Statewide)
  • Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services (violent crimes, sexual abuse) – (515) 286-3600 (24 hour crisis line) (Counties: Polk and Warren)
  • RISE (domestic abuse, sexual assault – Native American Community) – (641) 481-0334 (Counties: Statewide)
  • Transformative Healing (sexual abuse – a safe space for LGBTQIA victims/survivors) – (319) 389-8430 (Counties: Statewide)

English Language Learning Community

COVID-19 Language Resources

Covid Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

    Providing emotional support, education, and basic crisis counseling to you and your family and connecting you to community support systems.
    Reaching out via secure virtual meetings with you or others in your community to help with recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Assessing your needs and making referrals to community-based disaster relief services and agencies to extend support services when necessary.
    Providing education to help you understand responses, processes and assistance opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FindHello app – Afghan Resource Center

The “FindHello” app has added an Afghan Resource Center. Dari and Pashto are now available on their app as well. For more information, you can find their app in app stores or on their direct link here.

Central Iowa Immigrant Emergency Support Fund (CIIESF)

The fund is set up to meet the needs of Iowa immigrants in meatpacking and farmworkers who do not qualify for government assistance during this global pandemic. The fund assists community members facing significant challenges due to loss of income, illness, or other COVID-19 related impacts. The assistance has covered basic needs including rent, mortgages, utilities, transportation, and medicine for individuals and their families during the last few months.


Multi-lingual crisis response website, crisis help-line, daily news & resources in the community:

Have you lost your home or been treated unfairly because people thought you had COVID-19? Or because of your race, color, or where you are from? The Iowa Civil Rights Commission and EMBARC can help you if you experienced discrimination because of COVID-19.
Please contact us if you have questions or want to share your experience.

  • Burmese 515.207.9442
  • Chin Dialects 515.216.0974
  • Karen 515.216.0143
  • Karenni 515.216.0712

Instructional Videos:

Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa (RACI)

For general information about events, go to the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa Events Calendar

For more information about resources, go  to the their Refugee Resources Guide

COVID-19 Helpline: 1-877-558- 2609

COVID-19 Website:

2020 Refugee Summit: Getting Through COVID-19 Together | Webinar Series| October- December:

Interpreters will be available 8:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m. with a 24-hour voicemail for the following languages but not limited to:

  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Swahili
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Kirundi
  • Kinvamulenge
  • French
  • Burmese
  • Karen
  • Karenni
  • Nepali
  • Somali
  • Tigrinya
  • Kunama
  • Amharic
  • Nuer
  • Mabaan
  • Vietnamese
  • Mandarin

If anyone has any questions about food benefits or needs help to enroll, they are welcome to contact the Bureau of Refugee Services at 515-875-5600.

Karen Video:

To Report Any Incidents of Bias Against Asian Americans

To report any incidents of bias against Asian Americans:
Please fill out this form and report any incidents to the City of Des Moines Commission on Human Rights:

COVID-19 Information for Undocumented Immigrants in Iowa

How To Plan If a Caregiver Becomes Ill In Spanish and Somali

How to plan if a caregiver becomes ill in Spanish and Somali:


Also see IMPACT below under the Financial Assistance category.

Language interpreters are available by calling the Iowa COVID-19 English Language Learner (ELL) Help Line at 1-877-558-2609.

Iowa Congolese Association

ICOACH’s Transportation is available Monday – Saturday 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Not available on Sundays. Due to a higher call volume of ride requests, ICOACH needs 48-hour notice for non-emergency appointments. If you or someone you work with needs a ride, please contact ICOACH. Requests can be made by using one of these three options:

Iowa Refugee Counseling Services

Iowa Refugees Counseling Center (IRCC) provides culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and mental health services to meet the social and emotional health needs of refugees and immigrants. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are only able to offer counseling via telemedicine platforms and only to those who have a conversational command of the English language. If you have no access to reliable internet service or to a confidential space, but still would like to participate in counseling services, we may be able to provide office space and a computer for your use, on a weekly basis here at ICCompassion, but the therapist will still be remote. To schedule an appointment:

Other Translated COVID 19 Resources:

Iowa Department of Human Rights Multilingual Resources

Translated COVID-19 Guidance and Information Documents
COVID-19 guidance and information documents issued by the Iowa Department of Education are being translated into Iowa’s top six most used languages of Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, Karen, Karenni, and Vietnamese. Documents targeted specifically for families are being translated into the additional eight languages of Bosnian, Chinese (Traditional), Burmese, French, Nepali, Somali, Marshallese, and Nilo-Saharan. Translated documents will be added to this page as they are issued and updated.

Iowa Spanish Helpline: 515-344-3936. Hours of operation: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am- 8:00 pm

Iowa Department of Education

For questions and information about student learning in several different languages:

American Friends Service Committee Immigration Attorney List

Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI)

Online Citizenship Class
LSI has launched an online citizenship class to help prepare participants for their citizenship interview. Classes will be hosted via Zoom with an option to attend a morning or evening class. Participants who complete the class are eligible to receive free legal services through Justice for our Neighbors.

Requirements: Must be eligible for citizenship and have an intermediate level of English ability. Must have access to Zoom platform.

Registration: Next classes begin July 7th through September 10th, 2020. Call 515.271.7473 or email to register.


Proteus provides agricultural workers and their families with affordable health care, education assistance, food, and job training.


Covid Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

    Providing emotional support, education, and basic crisis counseling to you and your family and connecting you to community support systems.
    Reaching out via secure virtual meetings with you or others in your community to help with recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Assessing your needs and making referrals to community-based disaster relief services and agencies to extend support services when necessary.
    Providing education to help you understand responses, processes and assistance opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dress for Success Des Moines

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

We accomplish this through 3 programs:

  • The Career Service Center: Career coaching and workshops are available for women entering the workforce
  • The Boutique – Personal Shopping Experience: One on one suiting experience for an upcoming interview, internship and/or employment
  • Professional Women’s Group: A group designed to support working women retain and advance in their careers

Contact Info: or call 515-288-0130

Iowa Works

IowaWORKS centers provide limited in-person to assist customers who are looking for work. Basic services include assistance with job searches, applications, resume preparation and other services to help Iowans with their employment needs. Individuals are strongly encouraged to telephone their local office to schedule an appointment. For more information:

  • Des Moines 200 Army Post – Phone: 515-281-9619, Option #9
  • Des Moines Park Fair Mall – Phone: 515-725-3601

To file for unemployment:

For information about unemployment insurance benefits, contact the IWD call center at 1-866-239-0843 or email

Employer On-Site Hiring Events
Looking for a chance to speak with a company one-on-one? Eager to discuss open positions with hiring employers? Get a leg up by connecting with employers at one of our weekly Hiring Events. Feel free to bring your current resume and apply on the spot. Please visit our Facebook page at @IowaWorksDesMoines for a schedule of employers, posted each Friday.

Essential Tools for Job Seekers
Learn about the resources and services available to job seekers at your local IowaWORKS/American Job Center. Get an introduction to the Maximize Your Potential Workshop Series so you can decide your next step – assessments, job searching, resumes, interviewing and more. *Essential Tools for Job seekers is offered both virtually, via Zoom, as well as in person. Please check the Events Calendar on for details.

Mock Interviews
Have an upcoming interview that you would like to prepare for? Been a while since you’ve interviewed, and you would like to practice? Check with one of our Career Planners to schedule a Mock Interview. Staff will take the time to develop industry specific questions and give you valuable feedback. On-demand mock interviews are also available if you do not have time to schedule ahead.

Readiness Workshops
National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) This certificate is a portable, nationally recognized credential that serves as proof of your workplace skills. Includes three assessments centered on Applied Mathematics, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. Awarded at four levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum), based on an individual’s scores on each assessment. *Must register prior to attending.

Title I Adult & Dislocated Worker Information Sessions
Join this Information Session to see if you might be eligible for career planning, education/training and case management services through the Title I Adult and Dislocated Worker program.

Bring Your A-Game to Work (Work Ethic)
The A-Game provides information on improving your personal/soft skills for employment. Topics include Appearance, Accountability, Attendance, Ambition, Attitude, Acceptance, and Appreciation. *Certificate awarded upon completion.

Resume Lab
Not sure how to describe what you did at your last job? Join our staff at this open lab and create a resume that catches the attention of employers. Work at your own pace and join us in the lab as often as needed. *Create a Great Resume Workshop is recommended beforehand, but not required.

Conflict Resolution
How do you handle conflict and confrontation? This class provides the user knowledge on handling conflict in the workplace and how to work effectively with different types of people.

LinkedIn Lab
Have you heard of LinkedIn and wanted to create a profile but did not know where to start? We can help with that! Join IowaWORKS today and learn how to create an account, write a compelling headline, and take your career aspirations to the next level.

Virtual Job Club
A different workshop each week on a variety of work-based topics designed for any job seeker.

Evelyn K. Davis Center For Working Families

During this unprecedented time, the Evelyn K. Davis Center is continuing to provide phone and web-delivered services. Their job developers have all the tools needed to work one-on-one and services like resume development and connections to employers can still take place.

Please call 515-697-7700: leave a message as all calls are being received and directed to staff. Or, book an appointment with a Financial Coach online:

U.S. Department of Labor

For general information on COVID-19 policies and law in the workplace:


Wells Fargo

Empowers those with disabilities. Looking for people who are skilled on a computer, fast with 10-key typing, detail-oriented & self-motivated. Go to

Wells Fargo and Advocations STRIDE Program

Financial Assistance | General Help

Covid Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

    Providing emotional support, education, and basic crisis counseling to you and your family and connecting you to community support systems.
    Reaching out via secure virtual meetings with you or others in your community to help with recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Assessing your needs and making referrals to community-based disaster relief services and agencies to extend support services when necessary.
    Providing education to help you understand responses, processes and assistance opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

United Way 211

Simply Dial 211 or visit:

United Way (211) has Polk County’s most up-to-date information about assistance programs. They can make the best referral based upon the facts of each individual.

CROSS Outreach

Serves our community in a virtual format with a primary focus on making a small gift toward rent, security deposit, electric or water bill assistance for Polk County residents facing a one-time crisis. We are unable to assist more than once in a 12-month period. For assistance, please call 515-279-9998 or visit:

EveryStep Holiday Assistance Guide

Furniture Resources

Hope Ministries Drop-In Center

Located at 1310 6th Ave, Des Moines Open 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday—Friday Services for individuals and families include assistance with housing and job applications, resumes, obtaining documents (photo I.D, social security card, etc.) veteran’s resources and more.

Hope Ministries Drop-In Center

Located at 1310 6th Ave, Des Moines Open 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday—Friday Services for individuals and families include assistance with housing and job applications, resumes, obtaining documents (photo I.D, social security card, etc.) veteran’s resources and more.

Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites open on January 24th! Sites will be located at the United Way of Central Iowa office and at Polk County River Place. Individuals and families who meet the household income thresholds within one year qualify to receive free tax preparation through our VITA program. More information can be found in the attached flyer.

Iowa Finance Authority

Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program. The program will benefit Iowans facing the disconnection of utilities due to an inability to pay electric, natural gas and water bills. Qualifying families must have lost income due to COVID-19. Call 515-348-8813 or visit:

  • Receive up to $2,000 towards utilities if at risk of disconnection due to COVID-19. The deadline for this is November 20. These monies may retro back: important to note that this money will NOT impact a household’s ability to apply for LIHEAP which started on November 1 and runs until April 30.
  • Funds have been allocated to help renters and mortgage owners with their payments to avoid eviction/foreclosure. This money will also retro. The max for renters is $3,200 (up to 4 months of payments) and $3,600 (up to 2 months of payments). IFA has let us know that the deadline for applications on this will be December 4. This way IFA can process all the applications before December 30. Here is where people would apply:

Zion Church

Used clothing, furniture, bedding and some housewares are available free of charge. Bread on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Located 4300 Beaver Ave. Call ahead for office hours at 270-8142. For more information:


Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

New Low-Income Household Water Program
As part of an ongoing effort to address the financial impact of COVID-19, Iowa has received over $10 million in federal aid to help households that have fallen behind in water bills and are facing disconnection of service or have already been disconnected.

The new federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will provide assistance in the form of benefit payments made directly to water vendors on behalf of households for past-due charges, fees, and taxes for drinking and wastewater services. The program will be administered by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and locally through Iowa’s Community Action Agencies that serve all 99 counties.

Iowans may apply by contacting their local Community Action Agency starting October 8, 2021. To locate the agency nearest you, please visit or call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at 515-281-3861.

Program eligibility mirrors that of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), meaning applicants must qualify to receive federal LIHEAP benefits, total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and a current water crisis must be present.

The application period is open year-round. LIHWAP will run through September 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted.

To find out where to apply, visit or contact your local community action agency.

The EMBRACE program is a financial assistance program funded by the Des Moines Register that can provide up to $500 towards the purchase of household items, appliances, mattresses, car repairs or tires. IMPACT will take applications between Nov 25th- Jan 31st. Call to apply (515) 518-4770 and come in with the supporting documentation to finish the application with our staff. This program is first-come, first served and the Des Moines Register may contact you for a story if you are selected for the program.

The RAYS program is a scholarship program for eligible youth to help cover costs for a multitude of activities including, but not limited to sports registration, band, dance, and other recreational programs. The RAYS Scholarship can provide up to $100 per individual and has a limit of $200 per household. Call to apply (515) 518-4770.

For these and other resources (food, hygiene, recreation discounts visit:

Polk County General Assistance

General Assistance provides temporary assistance with basic and special needs to eligible Polk County residents. Individuals and families who are at risk due to a temporary crisis and/or a mental or physical incapacity and who meet income guidelines may be assisted. General assistance may help with:

  • Basic Needs- Food, Rental Assistance, Household/Personal Items and Utility Payments
  • Utility payments: For people whose electricity and/or water is already shut off or disconnected or if you can’t pay an arranged amount.
  • Special Needs- Clothing, Furniture, Health Supplies, Traveler’s Aid
  • Property Tax Assistance- For information on property tax assistance programs call 286-3133.
  • Cremation- To apply for financial assistance for cremation, bring a completed application (found here: to our office or call 286-2088 for further information.

To apply for general assistance:
or call: 515-286-2088

Food Assistance

Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) Food Pantries

DMARC collects and distributes food to 14 food network pantry sites and operates a mobile food pantry.

  • To find a pantry or mobile site near you visit:
    Please call ahead before you visit, as we are continuously monitoring new developments and changes may be implemented rapidly: 515-277-6969
  • To view our list of alternative food distributions and procedures:
  • Delivery Service is available if a person is unable to obtain food by either visiting a food pantry location or by using a proxy to pick up food for them, they may call to request a delivery. Only those with health, transportation, or other mitigating circumstances should use this service. Call 1-833-DMARC-20 (1-833-362-7220) toll-free to request delivery between 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Requests for delivery will close at 12:00pm or after 50 spots have been filled. Once the order is placed, food will be delivered to the person’s doorstep with a no-contact drop-off the following business day between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. For more information:

Des Moines Public Schools

As your school prepares to welcome students back for the 2021-2022 school year, our staff in the Food and Nutrition Department are finalizing healthy breakfast and lunch menus and updating records. We all know that children need healthy meals to learn and Des Moines Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day.

Your school is offering no cost meals in school year 2021-2022 through the U.S.D.A.’s Seamless Summer Option. To receive a breakfast and lunch at no cost, each student must select certain food items deemed by the U.S.D.A. to be part of a healthy meal. Our staff will be available to help your students make those selections. Each student may have one breakfast and one lunch per school day.

DMPS families do not need to take additional action for their students to receive a free breakfast and lunch at school each day.

Families Who Qualify Or May Qualify For FRL
While you do not need to take any action for your student to receive meals at school, a free and reduced-price application may be needed by your school for other programs, such as P-EBT. If your child is already approved for free or reduced price meals – NO ACTION IS REQUIRED.

You may apply at . If you prefer a paper application, please call the Food and Nutrition office at 242-7636 and one will be mailed to you. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

    All children in households receiving benefits from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly Food Assistance in Iowa), the Family Investment Program (FIP), or a few specific Medicaid programs are eligible for free or reduced price meals.Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals.Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is at or below the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines below. (Requires submitting an Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals.)FEDERAL INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES for School Year 2021-2022
    No, but please read the letter carefully and follow the instructions. If any children in your household were missing from your notification,contact: Lori Emmons, Food & Nutrition Management, Des Moines Public Schools, 1225 2nd Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314; phone: 515-242-7636; e-mail: immediately as eligibility for free or reduced price meals is extended to all school age children in a household. If you did not receive a letter from the school, but received a Free Lunch Notice from DHS, submit this letter to your children’s school. You may add any students living in your household who are not listed on the letter. Also, if someone in your household receives food assistance and you did not receive either of these letters, you may complete an application listing the case number as this will qualify all school age children in your household for free meals. If you were informed that your children will get reduced price meals automatically, see the income guidelines above and if you feel you would qualify for free meal benefits, complete an application for free and reduced price meals.
    Households with foster and non-foster children may choose to include the foster child as a household member, as this may help other children in the household qualify for benefits. If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced price meal benefits, that does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.
    Do the members of your household lack a permanent address? Are you staying together in a shelter, hotel, or other temporary housing arrangement? Does your family relocate on a seasonal basis? Are any children living with you who have chosen to leave their prior family or household? If you believe children in your household meet these descriptions and haven’t been told your children will get free meals, please contact: Lori Emmons, Executive Assistant, at 515-242-7636 or
    No. Use one Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application for all students in your household. We cannot approve an application unless complete eligibility information is submitted, so be sure to complete all required information.
    Yes. Your child’s application is only good for that school year and for the first few days of this school year, through October 7, 2021. You must submit a new application unless the school food and nutrition department informed you that your child is eligible for the new school year. When the carry-over period ends, unless you are notified that your children will receive free meals or you submit an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals. The school is not required to send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.
    Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced price meals. Please submit an application.
    Yes. You, your children, or other household members do not have to be U.S. citizens to apply for free or reduced price meals.
    Yes. We may also ask you to send written proof of the household income you report. You are not required to provide proof with your application.
    Yes, you may apply at any time during the school year. For example, children with a parent or guardian who becomes unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced price meals if the household income drops below the income limit, if your household size goes up, or if you start getting SNAP, FIP or other benefits.
    You should talk to school officials. You also may ask for a hearing by calling or writing to: Lori Emmons, Food & Nutrition Management, Des Moines Public Schools, 1225 2nd Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314; phone: 515-242-7636;
    List the amount that you normally receive. For example, if you normally make $1000 each month, but you missed some work last month and only made $900, put down that you made $1000 per month. If you normally get overtime, include it, but do not include it if you only work overtime sometimes. If you have lost a job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
    Household members may not receive some types of income we ask you to report on the application, or may not receive income at all. Whenever this happens please write a 0 in the field. However, if any income fields are left empty or blank, those will also be counted as zeroes. Please be careful when leaving income fields blank, as we will assume you meant to do so.
    Your basic pay and cash bonuses must be reported as income. If you get any cash value allowances for off-base housing, food, or clothing, or receive Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance payments, it must also be included as income. However if your housing is part of the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, do not include your housing allowance as income. There are currently no active Military Housing Projects in Iowa as found on Active Military Housing Projects website. Any additional combat pay resulting from deployment is also excluded from income.
    Only the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the household’s primary wage earner or another adult household member (or an indication of “none”) is needed.
    To find out how to apply for SNAP or other assistance benefits, contact your local assistance office or call 1-877-347-5678. Your children may be eligible for hawk-i (children’s health insurance). Go to hawk-i info for hawk-i information.
    If a child has a disability, as determined by a licensed medical professional, and the disability prevents the child from eating the regular school meal, the school will make substitutions prescribed by the licensed medical professional. If a substitution is needed, there will be no extra charge for the meal. Please note, however, that the school is not required to make a substitution for a food allergy, unless it meets the definition of disability. Please call the school nurse for further information.
    It is optional to complete the racial/ethnic portion of the application. However, if you do not select race or ethnicity, one will be selected for you based on visual observation.

If you have other questions or need help, call 242-7636


Amanda Miller
Director of Food and Nutrition
Des Moines Public Schools

EveryStep Holiday Assistance Guide

Food, Utilities, Coats, and Toys. See attached flyer.

Food Bank of Iowa

The Food Bank of Iowa provides food to organizations that serve Iowans in need.

Hope Ministries

Hope Ministries offering free Christmas Meal on December 15th.
See flyer attached. Meals can be ordered through the website.

FREE MEALS DAILY AT HOPE CAFÉ Meals are free to all individuals, no questions asked 1310 6th Ave, Des Moines Monday—Saturday Sunday Breakfast: 7:00 —7:30 a.m. Breakfast: 8:00 —8:30 a.m. Lunch: 12:00—12:45 p.m. Lunch: 1:30 —2:15 p.m. Dinner: 5:00—5:30 p.m. Dinner: 5:00 —5:30 p.m.

Hope Ministries Drop-In Center Located at 1310 6th Ave, Des Moines Open 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday—Friday Services for individuals and families include assistance with housing and job applications, resumes, obtaining documents (photo I.D, social security card, etc.) veteran’s resources and more.

Offers free meals every Wednesday: 5:00 – 6:30pm, walk or drive up at their 2500 University Avenue location. For more information, see attached flyer here.

Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)

The purpose of DHS is to help Iowans achieve healthy, safe, stable, and self-sufficient lives through the programs and services they provide.

  • To see if you are eligible for food assistance, go here.
  • To apply for food assistance, go here.
  • To get free fruits and vegetables with your SNAP EBT card, go here.
  • To see a list of all services and programs go here.
  • If you need help with the application or have questions about eligibility, please call: 1-855-944-FOOD (3663).

You can visit Polk County’s local DHS offices. During COVID they are not open to the public, so you need to call for an appointment before you go.

  • River Place office – 2309 Euclid Ave, Des Moines IA | 515-725-2600
  • Carpenter office – 1900 Carpenter | 515-725-2755

Iowa Department of Public Health

WIC (Women Infants, & Children) is a supplemental nutrition program for babies, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and women who have had a baby in the last 6 months. For qualifications and to apply: For more information, call (515) 281- 5650.

Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

Monsoon Community Garden

Monsoon Community Garden (1212 e.17th court, Des Moines)
Pick-your-Own Vegetables. During the summer, Monsoon hosts times for community members to pick their own produce at the healing garden! The produce is free, but donations are accepted.


Community Food Pantry
1221 Center St. Ste. 16, Des Moines
Monday- Wednesday: 9 AM-4:30 PM
Food and other pantry items are packaged to meet family size and specific needs
Call 1-800-372-6031 to schedule a pick-up.

Union Park Church

Union Park Church (2305 E. 12th St.)
The Manna Meal is a free community meal served the 4th Monday of every month. Reservations are required to ensure we prepare enough food for everyone. Please follow our Facebook page for updates on this event and more:


Need help navigating health insurance?

The Health Insurance Marketplace ( is a service operated by the federal government that provides health plan shopping and enrollment services. When you apply for individual and family coverage, you will provide income and household information to see if you qualify for Premium tax credits and other savings that make insurance more affordable, or if you qualify for coverage through the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Enroll by Wednesday, December 15 for coverage starting January 1, 2022. Open Enrollment ends Saturday, January 15, 2022.

The Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) hosted a webinar with a presentation from Iowa Navigator. Iowa Navigator is a free, non-profit program available to all in-state residents and offers free enrollment assistance with the Health Insurance Marketplace. Watch the presentation here: Youtube-Iowa Navigator See if you are eligible: 1-877-474-NAVI/ 515-978-9570

Broadlawns Urgent Care

Broadlawns Urgent Care
Located at: 1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines

Patients with COVID-19 related symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, generalized muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) can come to Broadlawns Urgent Care, Monday-Friday from 8 am-8 pm and Saturday 9 am-3 pm for free testing and treatment.

Patients concerned about exposure but without symptoms may be tested by their primary care provider in any of the Broadlawns Primary Care or Family Medicine clinics.

The CDC has recommended that children 5 and older obtain a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them against this disease. Additionally, recommendations are now available for certain people to obtain booster COVID-19 vaccines. For more information on the vaccine with children, click here for more. To see if you are eligible for a booster vaccine, please see guidelines here.

The good work of vaccination and mitigation through masking is already being seen in our recent COVID case numbers, but experts predict another surge in the community after Thanksgiving. We encourage every eligible resident to vaccinate for the safety of themselves, their families, and friends. Click here to visit, or call your doctor’s office or local pharmacy to schedule an appointment.

Covid Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

    Providing emotional support, education, and basic crisis counseling to you and your family and connecting you to community support systems.
    Reaching out via secure virtual meetings with you or others in your community to help with recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Assessing your needs and making referrals to community-based disaster relief services and agencies to extend support services when necessary.
    Providing education to help you understand responses, processes and assistance opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polk County Health Department

Booster shots available for everyone
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has authorized boosters of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for all adults age 18 and over. Prior to this authorization, eligibility had been limited to individuals age 65 and older and those who lived or worked in high risk environments. Those who received a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are already eligible for a booster two months after their initial dose.

One month into flu season, the Iowa Department of Public Health urges Iowans to get their flu vaccines as soon as possible. Flu activity in the state is still low, but cases have increased in the last week. Both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from these viruses. By getting vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19, we can prevent avoidable hospitalizations and help preserve health care resources for other needs, including illnesses, injuries and emergencies. Iowans with questions about vaccines for themselves or loved ones consult with their health care provider.

Getting vaccinated now will provide more protection in advance of winter holiday gatherings. Find vaccine providers and resources at and

To find a Polk County Vaccine Clinic near you, please visit this website. Or text your zip code to 438829 to find a vaccination clinic near you.

Creative Visions

Free dental screenings on Saturdays from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Located at 1343 13th St., Des Moines, IA 50314, (515) 244-4003


Iowa Department of Human Services

To check qualifications and apply for Medicaid (government health insurance program based on income): or

If your income has changed due to the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage for you and your family. See guidelines and how to apply here:

Primary Health Care (PHC) Drive-Through Respiratory Clinic

  • This clinic is for the evaluation of patients with respiratory symptoms only.
  • If needed, tests for influenza and strep are available.
  • Patients seen here are not guaranteed a COVID-19 test. Individuals will be tested only if their symptoms and other criteria meet the established guidelines by the Iowa Department of Public Health:
  • Open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The Clinic is located just south of the Engebretsen Clinic.
  • No appointment is necessary. Patients will remain in their cars during this visit as this location has a garage with doors on both the north and south side, allowing patients to drive through.

Test Iowa

Test Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab. Our goal is to ensure all Iowans have access to free COVID-19 testing:

University of Iowa Tele Mobile Clinic

The University of Iowa Mobile Clinic is an organization that provides free health screening, prevention, education, and basic health services to any Iowa resident who experiences a barrier to getting healthcare elsewhere. Due to COVID-19, they are offering Telemedicine appointments, help with mental health resources, social work appointments, finding local resources and getting signed up for insurance. Call or text (319) 535.2684 to request a free phone or webcam medical appointment. Our services are offered in 4 languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, and French (plus other languages upon request). See their website for more information:


City of Des Moines

COVID Recovery Iowa

If you are at imminent risk of eviction or foreclosure and need legal assistance, Iowa Legal Aid may be able to assist you at no cost. Visit or call 1-800-532-1275.


Family Self Sufficiency Program

The Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a voluntary program available to

  • Participants of the Housing Choice Voucher program (Section 8)
  • Participants of the Public Housing program

Objectives of the FSS Program:

  • Obtain Employment
  • Increase income
  • Increase financial literacy
  • Progress towards economic independence and self sufficiency
  • Reduce or eliminate need for welfare assistance

The FSS program provides

  • Job resources
  • Educational opportunities
  • Job training referrals
  • One on one case management
  • Other available community resources

The FSS Coordinator

  • Provides support and coaching while participants work toward economic self-sufficiency
  • Helps with goal setting
  • Helps with support
  • Helps with community resources
  • Helps with accountability

Graduating from FSS may allow participants to earn a cash savings account and lead to an opportunity to buy a home. For more information:

Call or email one of the FSS Coordinators to get your journey started!
Denise Carrington (515) 323-8973/
Renda Lutz (515) 323-8969/
Julia Clark (515) 323-8983/

  1. Kinsey Lowe – Public Housing Services – (515-323-8977)
    1. Currently accepting applications for 1-2 person families who need an efficiency or 1 bedroom unit.
    2. They have 5 buildings that they own and manage
    3. Royalview Manor – Elderly unit – ages 62 and older.
    4. Income based program
  2. Julia Clark – City of Des Moines Housing – Shared that all buildings have other bodies of support, i.e., connecting with community resources, etc.

General Information

The CDC eviction mortarium expired on July 31, 2021, and was not expected to be extended. However, given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and emergence of the delta variant, on August 3, the CDC issued a new order temporarily halting evictions. This Order will expire on October 3, 2021. The Order applies to counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission. If a county that is covered by the Order no longer experiences substantial or high levels of community transmission for 14 consecutive days, then the Order will no longer apply in that county, unless or until it again experiences substantial or high levels while the Order is in effect. You can view this map to monitor your county’s level of transmission:
The full Order] detailing the applicability and repercussions, along with the Declaration Form, can be found here: link to CDC. The eviction process can be complicated, and you may want to speak with an attorney.

Four Things to Know/Share about the expired Eviction Moratorium:

IMPACT is partnering with several Polk County nonprofits to help distribute rental assistance funding. Although the Federal Eviction Moratorium has ended, assistance is still being provided. More information can be found here, and in the attached flyer.

  1. IMPACT, along with partner agencies, can still provide rental assistance. Assistance can be found at IMPACT, ICOACH, Young Women’s Resource Center, EKD/FEC, NISAA, Urban Dreams, Oakridge, Bhutanese Comm. in IA, Proteus, Spanish Hotline, and Caring Hands. More information, including language resources, can be found at the Polk Count Cares website here.
  2. There are resources for those that do not speak English: Both tenants/landlords are welcome to use the FREE emergency housing hotline for help:
    • Iowa International Center offers a free phone interpretation hotline to help landlords and limited-English-speaking tenants communicate better during challenging conversations. (Rent and lease negotiations, lease terminations, maintenance notifications and repairs.) The Housing Interpretation Hotline is available 24/7 and offers over 150 languages. Call 515-282-8269, Ext. 5, answer a short series of questions about your call before being connected to an interpreter. For questions about use and eligibility, contact Elyse at
    • For any non-English speaker needing help connecting to resources, RACI, in partnership with LSI and 211/IDPH, has a free multi-lingual helpline for people to access help or resources in multiple languages. The number is 1-877-558-2609, more information about this helpline can be found at the bottom of this email.
  3. An eviction notice is NOT an eviction, it is a notice that the landlords are starting the process. There are legal resources tenants can utilize to help prevent evictions. Contact Iowa Legal Aid for help at 515-243-1993. If there is a notice to appear in court, is very important that tenants attend.
  4. For help sorting through any financial needs, the Financial Empowerment Center is available for help. More information, including how to schedule an appointment, can be found at their website here or call 515-697-7700


Provides renter and homeownership supports which include rental handbook, crisis counseling services, maintenance, repair and eviction resources. For more information, go to Eviction Prevention Hotline: 515-243-1277

To see their new Housing Services Flyer for 2021, you can find it here:

Iowa Finance Authority: Eviction & Foreclosure Prevention Program

Governor Reynolds has allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist Iowans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing housing hardships. This program will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.

  • Rental assistance for up to four months. This can include months in arrears no earlier than the April 1 rent payment, ($3,200 maximum).
    – Includes manufactured home rent and lot rent
  • Mortgage assistance for up to four months (this can include up to two months in arrears) beginning with April 1 mortgage payment, ($3,600 maximum).

For more information: or call Housing Recovery Help Line (515)348-8813.

Iowa Mortgage Help

State-wide referral hotline, foreclosure intervention and negotiation and mediation services. For more information: or call 877-622-4866.

Primary Health Care Centralized Intake

Centralized Intake offers a coordinated approach to assess and address the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. To resolve homelessness, clients may be assigned to a case manager, referred to shelter, or referred to other agencies for further assistance. These appointments will be conducted over the phone. Please call 515-248-1850. For more information:


Defendants Guide to the Criminal Justice System During COVID-19

Defendants Guide to the Criminal Justice System During COVID-19:


Iowa Legal Aid

The Iowa COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline is a free service available to Iowans who are experiencing legal issues due to the COVID-10 emergency. Iowans experiencing any type of legal problem due to this crisis, such as facing eviction, being denied unemployment benefits, such as facing eviction, being denied unemployment benefits, experiencing employment issues, or being a victim of identity theft can call the hotline. Callers will leave a message and Iowa Legal Aid staff will call them back to screen them for eligibility. Those who are eligible will be connected with an Iowa Legal Aid attorney. Those who are not eligible for services will be connected with a volunteer attorney through the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Bar Association.

Legal Information Hotline: 1-800-332-0419

Get answers to an expansive list of legal questions regarding evictions, child custody/ visitation, court access, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, student loans and the stimulus payments, etc.:

Mental Health

COVID Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

Covid Recovery Iowa

    Providing emotional support, education, and basic crisis counseling to you and your family and connecting you to community support systems.
    Reaching out via secure virtual meetings with you or others in your community to help with recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Assessing your needs and making referrals to community-based disaster relief services and agencies to extend support services when necessary.
    Providing education to help you understand responses, processes and assistance opportunities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lutheran Services in Iowa

LSI offers several virtual and in-person therapies and to empower Iowans along the way to a healthier and happier future. To find out more and register:

Mosaic Family Counseling

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a free and confidential, rapid response intervention that is free to students and families. Each DMPS student or a member of their family may access up to 5 free sessions with a therapist from MOSAIC FAMILY Counseling Center Inc. SAP may be accessed through tele-health (secure video chat) or telephone call.

SAP can help students and their families cope with the stress of the current environment, especially the new concerns related to COVID such as the new home routines and access to much needed resources. SAP can also address any of the following: social struggles, behavior issues, anxiety, depression, family stress and conflict. We are committed and responsive! Visit our website: or call 515-724-8920 for more information.

NAMI of Greater Des Moines (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

For access to mental health supports, including virtual programming, please call 515-277-0672 or visit:
COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide in English and Spanish with information on topics about stress, anxiety, assistance programs, and more.

COVID-19 mental health resources for African Americans:

One Iowa

One Iowa advances, empowers, and improves the lives of LGBTQ Iowans statewide.

One Iowa seeks to improve the lives of LGBTQ Iowans by protecting and advancing equality and inclusiveness through education, improving workplace culture, and increasing access to quality healthcare across our state.

For more information, go to their website:

Hamilton’s Funeral Home

Hamilton’s Academy of Grief & Loss has an array of resources available of to support grieving families which also include some online learning options:

Iowa State Extension

Mindfulness Mondays (December 7th, 14th & 21st ) will provide your family with engaging resources, tools, and activities to support mental health and overall well-being.

Please Pass the Love

Resources for youth and adults to connect and relate with others. All programs are FREE. Virtual programs available weekly for elementary, middle, and high school youth. Resources for adults also available. To join the groups, please see the website:

Iowa Crisis Chat: Non-judgmental support for individuals facing an emotional crisis. Staff are available from 9:00am to 2:00am, seven days a week. If it is outside of our hours of operation, call Your Life Iowa‘s 24/7 chat. You can also call us 24/7 at 1-855-325-4296. Free teen workshops:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help. Please call 1(800) 273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 for a Crisis Text Line.

Orchard Place

Orchard Place works closely with children and youth who have mental health illnesses, behavioral health challenges, battle substance abuse, suffer from trauma and more. Through early intervention and appropriate care, we are developing strong futures for children and their families. For more information, go to the Orchard Place Special Events Page

Your Life Iowa (Iowa Department of Public Health)

Your Life Iowa Chat live, call 1-855-581-8111, text (855) 895-8398

Everyone needs help sometimes. If you or a loved one are facing a problem with alcohol, drugs, gambling, mental health or suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone. That is why the Iowa Department of Public Health has created so Iowans can chat live, text, or call and get reliable information and treatment options, and find nearby help:

School-Based Mental Health Providers

In response to COVID 19, most agencies that provide school-based mental health services in Des Moines Public Schools have added phone and video options to continue providing therapy services to Des Moines Public School students. Please contact your student’s provider directly to learn more about the options available.

Unity Point Behavioral Health Urgent Care

Behavioral Health Urgent Care provides services to individuals who are needing mental health services, psychiatric evaluation and assessment, addiction medicine, crisis services and community resources.

Urgent Care is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week and is located at 1250 East 9th Street in Des Moines. (515) 263-2632.

This location serves patients of all ages. Patients younger than 18 years of age must have a guardian with them. Patients are advised to utilize the Emergency Room instead of the Urgent Care Clinic if they are needing immediate medical attention (i.e. open or fresh wounds), are a minor who does not have a guardian to sign a consent to treat, demonstrating aggressive behavior or having a crisis outside of the hours listed above. For all other behavioral health, psychiatric, and addiction-related care, patients should access the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care.

Lutheran Services in Iowa

LSI offers several virtual and in-person therapies and to empower Iowans along the way to a healthier and happier future. To find out more and register:

Young Women’s Resource Center

After School Program is a positive place to connect with new friends online, find support and celebrate you! Meets via Zoom every other Monday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. To learn more, contact Frida at and/or to register:

Black Girl Magic is an after school group that serves young, black women. We meet on Thursdays from 4:00 – 5:30pm at the YWRC, with the exception of days that DMPS is not in session. We will meet up until winter break and then start again for second semester in early – mid-January. The group is for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders who identify as Black/African American, and offers a space for participants to connect with one another, find support, and explore themes of empowerment and identity! All of our groups are free and we also provide van transportation to/from groups within a 7-mile radius. Pick-up is generally from school and all DMPS middle and high schools fall within the radius (most Des Moines area addresses do as well). Registration can also be completed online at this link: (please note that the website currently lists the grade range as 8th – 10th, however, that has changed and it is now 7th – 9th.)

Mariposa is a leadership group for Latinas (up to 10th grade) where women celebrate and share their experience of being Latina, as well as Latin roots and heritage. Meets via Zoom every other Wednesday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. For questions and/or to register, please contact Jessica at or call the YWRC at 515.244.4901

Connections is an ongoing therapy group focused on positivity, building healthy relationships and coping with anger. Many young women simply need someone to talk to and reach out to them. Meets via Zoom on Tuesdays from 3- 4:15 p.m. To learn more, contact Ayo at or to register:

Counseling The YWRC provides mental health counseling: one-on-one, couples and/or family counseling at school or at the YWRC. To learn more and to register:

F.U.N. (Feminists United Now) is a youth-led group working together to educate and advocate within the community about social justice issues. FUN is open to women, femmes, non-binary and trans friends. Meets via Zoom every Tuesday from 5- 7:30 p.m. For questions and/or to register, email:

Lotus is an art therapy program for girls who have experienced trauma. Participants explore artwork, movement and music to build self-esteem, healthy relationships and resiliency. Participants will learn to identify emotions and manage feelings using art, identify triggers, become self-aware and earn assertive communication. For questions, contact Marcia at and/or to register:

For questions regarding any YWRC program go to or call: 244-4901. Si tiene alguna pregunta o necesita ayuda, comuníquese con Jessica en jkincaid@ywrc.og


Every Step

Our Care & Support Services provide medical and social services for women, children and families, adults and seniors, and communities in Des Moines and across Iowa. Many of these programs are listed below, and additional programs are listed on our Provider Resources page. Formerly known as Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, EveryStep Care & Support Services offers dozens of programs that can do the following:

  • Support and educate new moms and pregnant women.
  • Connect parents to much-needed baby care items
  • Help growing families through in-home visits
  • Assist immigrants and refugees
  • Provide developmental screenings and referrals for children
  • Offer dental care and insurance assistance for at-risk children
  • Offer safe and educational play and learn sessions for parents and their children
  • Offer companionship and support to older Iowans
  • Provide financial assistance to families caring for a child with disabilities
  • Bring in-home health care to those who are recovering from injury or illness

Looking for care, help, or answers?
If you need assistance with pregnancy, parenting, development, insurance, or other resources, reach out to EveryStep’s Care & Support Services. Fill out our easy-to-use Find Care form or call our intake hotline at (515) 558-9946 to get pointed in the right direction. Below, browse our many programs and services which offer care, developmental screenings and support to help grow great families.

Are you pregnant and looking for help, support, or answers for you or your child?
EveryStep Care & Support Services is with you from the first step. We work together to have a healthy mom, a healthy baby, and a healthy family. All of our services are free and confidential. Some of our services include:

  • Home visits and referral services
  • Medical follow-up
  • Prenatal and parenting classes
  • Support groups
  • Depression screening and referral
  • Infant care and safety education
  • Breastfeeding support and education
  • Oral health screening
  • Family planning counseling
  • Stork’s Nest: Stork’s Nest and Family Nest is an educational incentive program. Participants earn points for healthy behaviors such as keeping medical appointments, WIC participation, breastfeeding and school attendance. These points may be redeemed at the Stork’s Nest for needed baby items such as diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs, and car seats.

For more information call 515-558-9946 or fill out our Find Care form.

Early Childhood
We offer a variety of children’s health and wellness services, including Play and Learn sessions. Our care is family-centered and we can help with access to community resources and on-going education to improve the long-term health and well-being of children. Some of our services include:

  • Home visits
  • Nursing assessments
  • Individualized health education
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Child developmental screening and education
  • Maternal depression screening
  • Child safety education
  • Oral health screenings
  • Immunization education and counseling
  • Lead education and referral
  • Breastfeeding and support

For more information call 515-558-9946 or fill out our Find Care form.

For Fathers
Offers support, education and information for fathers of children enrolled in the Healthy Start Project. Our FathersMatter consultant can provide:

  • Home visits
  • Tips for new dads
  • Information about your baby’s health
  • Information about safety concerns
  • Strategies to help you succeed

Call 515-558-9946 for more information.

Parent/Caregiver Support Group
Want to connect with other caregivers in the Des Moines area? Together, we can learn and grow in our relationships with our children. Join this group to be part of a network of conversation and resources. We are committed to helping you interact with your children in positive, educational ways. This group is free. Join the group.

Families & Adults
EveryStep Care & Support Services offers many services that educate and support parents and families so they can grow and thrive. Below is a list of services we offer:

  • Home visits
  • Parenting education
  • Child development screening and education
  • Financial support for families caring for a child with disabilities
  • Depression screening and referral
  • Parent support groups
  • Case management and referrals to community resources
  • Referrals for ESL classes
  • Bilingual services available

For more information call 515-558-9946 or fill out our Find Care form.

Young Women’s Resource Center

Young Mom’s Group
The Young Women’s Resource Center provides a broad range of perinatal services for pregnant and parenting young women through the age of 21. At a time when young women can feel most alone or in need of help, the Young Women’s Resource Center can provide comfort and stability through its programs, resources and groups. These programs are designed to equip the young mom or expecting mom with the skills to address the challenges of parenting so that she can focus on its joys.

The Young Women’s Resource Center is not a medical provider, and we do not offer medical services. The YWRC is a private, independent organization and is not affiliated with any other organizations. To register:

Short Years Partnership

Dads with a Purpose Fatherhood Classes will have a rolling start date, last for eight weeks, and take place from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Pre-registration is required; please see the attached flyer for additional information and contact Val Cameron at with any questions.

Our vision is for all children to learn, grow, and develop to reach their full potential and for all parents to feel comfortable, prepared, and motivated during the journey.

Our mission is to support parents’ and caregivers’ engagement with their children leading to a lifetime of good health, educational achievement, and future success. Information provided in Burmese, Arabic and Spanish.

United Way of Central Iowa

Because kids don’t come with instructions, we know parenting can be overwhelming. We’re here to help, one text message at a time. Easy, practical tips and info for parents & caregivers. Text IOWAKIDS to 274 448 for FREE parenting tips. Msg & data rates may apply. Messages timed exactly to your child’s due date or date of birth. Info about free services and events based on your zip code. Please see the attachment.

Personal Hygiene Items, Baby Items, Cleaning & School Supplies

IMPACT Community Action Partnership

IMPACT can provide both food and personal care items. Locations below:

  • Drake Area Pantry, 3226 University Ave Des Moines, IA 50311, (515) 518-4770
  • Ankeny Resource Center, 2701 SE Convenience Blvd Suite #2, Ankeny, IA 50021, (515) 965-0433
  • Army Post Resource Center, 500 Army Post Rd, Suite 17, Des Moines, IA 50315, (515) 274-9496

Baby Food, Diapers, Formula & Wipes

Some agencies are temporarily closed or have adjusted hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call agencies prior to accessing services.

  • Agape Pregnancy Center, 2550 ML King Jr Pkwy, Des Moines, IA 50310 (515) 255-0243, closed
  • Alpha Women’s Center, closed until further notice
    • Ankeny: 114 SW State Street Ankeny, IA 50023 (515) 965-7885
    • Des Moines: 3605 SE 14th Street Des Moines, IA 50320 (515) 285-5700
  • Bethany Christian Services Start Small Project, 16 E. 6th St. Des Moines, IA 50309 Office: (515) 270-0824 Start Small Project Main Contact Person: Marlene (515) 729-3112
  • Bidwell Riverside Center, 1203 Hartford Avenue Des Moines, IA 50315 (515) 244-6251
  • Birthright Des Moines, 5806 Hickman Road Des Moines, IA 50322 515-633-2133
  • Catholic Charities, 1815 Hubbell Avenue Des Moines, IA 50316 (515) 262-7290
  • Christ Apostolic Temple 1230 E. 17th regularly hosts diaper giveaways.
  • Creative Visions, 1343 13th St Des Moines, IA 50314 (515) 244-4003 closed until March 31
  • CROSS Outreach Des Moines, 3226 University Avenue Des Moines, IA 50311 (515) 279-9998
  • Diaper Resources in Polk County: See attachment.
  • DMARC Offices, 1435 Mulberry Street Des Moines IA 50309
    • Call (515) 277-6969 to find which pantries currently have baby/infant supplies available
  • Every Step
  • Young Women’s Resource Center, 818 5th Avenue Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 244-4901


Food Band of Iowa

In addition to food, FBI also provides personal hygiene items but inquire before going as their supplies vary:

Diapers on Inventory
For a limited time, diapers in sizes 3, 4 and 5 are on inventory. These diapers are provided through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund (PEAF) funded under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, enacted on March 11, 2021.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Families must meet TEFAP eligibility requirements and have a child in the home to participate. A current TEFAP form must be on file. If a family with a child has already filled out a TEFAP form on or after July 1, 2021, another TEFAP form does not need to be completed.
  • Participation in the TEFAP program is not required. If your agency does not participate in TEFAP, please use the form HERE to document eligibility.
  • Documentation of each distribution must be recorded by the food bank or any partner that has an agreement with the food bank.


Des Moines Public Schools

Technology Issues & Troubleshooting
If you have computer issues or technology problems, please follow these steps

  1. First, reach out to your advisory teacher. If it is a minor technology issue, your advisory teacher could help. If it is beyond their level, they will direct you to the next step.
  2. Call the Technology Help Desk: 515-242-8221

Des Moines Public Library

Des Moines Public Library is offering hotspots for check out and some for permanent use in homes.
More info here:

Mediacom Connect2Compete

Mediacom‘s Connect2Compete low-cost internet program has increased its speed to 25 megabits per second (Mbps). Qualifying families will receive 60 days of complimentary Mediacom internet access, with a cost of $9.95/month thereafter. There is no deposit, no contract, no installation fees, no equipment rental fees, and the Wi-Fi modem will be given via no-cost lease. Apply by calling 855-904-2225 or online:


  • At least one student in grades k-12 living at home
  • At least one student qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunch
  • Family is not a current Mediacom internet customer and have NOT subscribed to their internet services in the past 90 days
  • Family does not have an outstanding Mediacom bill or unreturned Mediacom equipment


Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

DART is making changes to its service on November 15, which will impact routes and schedules for select routes. DART will add additional trips on several Local Routes to accommodate Des Moines Public School students returning to in-person classes. View details about this change here –


Al Exito

Compa en Camino (Partner on Call) program exists to help any student who is working at home. Al Exito can provide help with academics, technology, provide food, and help with siblings. Whatever you need, you are not alone! For more information contact (515) 650 – 2644 or

Evelyn K. Davis Center

Tutoring services for students are provided on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evenings from 5:00pm – 7:00pm via Microsoft Teams, ZOOM, or in-person. Please be aware that if in-person tutoring is desired, there will be a longer wait time than for virtual tutoring services. Registration Link:

After completing the application, you will be put on the waiting list. We will match students up based on a first-come, first-served basis with tutors according to subject matter needs, availability, and preferences such as virtual or in-person. Once a student/tutor match is identified, we will work with both parties involved to establish a schedule and method to connect for tutoring sessions. Please direct any questions to or 515-519-0302.

Freedom for Youth

Food, tutoring, reading, games & bible lessons. May be able to accommodate virtual tutoring upon request. Located at 2301 Hickman Road, Des Moines 515-282-4822

  • WHIZ-KIDZ | K-5th grade after school – 5:30pm Mondays: Pick up at Monroe, Moulton, King, Samuelson Wednesdays: Grandview Christian, Madison, Edmunds (Oakridge), Perkins.
  • DISCOVERY | 6th-8th grade after school -7:00 pm Tuesdays & Thursdays. Pick up at Harding, Hiatt, Meredith, Callanan.
    • T/TH (5:30-6:30)
  • JOURNEY | 9th-12th grade after school – 7:00 pm Mondays & Wednesdays Pick up at North, Roosevelt, Hoover, East
    • M/W (3:45-4:15 or 6-6:45)

Jewels Academy

Math tutoring for grades 4 through pre-calculus. Virtual tutoring. Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 pm virtually. Will not turn away boys. Contact Mrs. Castro at:

Zion Church

For Congolese students. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-7:30 PM. All subjects. Contact Pastor Boaz Nkingi:

Youth Programs

Al Exito

Compa en Camino (Partner on Call)
Compa en Camino (Partner on Call) program exists to help any student who is working at home. Al Exito can provide help with academics, technology, provide food, and help with siblings. Whatever you need, you are not alone! For more information contact (515) 650 – 2644 or

Exclusive Senior Program
We meet every Wed evening via Zoom to keep seniors on track for graduations and in their first year of college. This is a free program. Students will get personalized assistance and peer-to-peer sharing on FASFA, scholarships, and admissions. As well as reminders of upcoming senior year tasks. Register today! Go to | | call (712) 730-0587


To learn more:

Des Moines Music Coalition

The Des Moines Music Coalition produces virtual classes for their hip-hop and rock band programs which are targeted towards middle and high school students. Visit this website to learn how to sign up for classes:

Des Moines Public Library (DMPL)

The DMPL has many recreational and education events for students of all ages. Here is a link to the Des Moines Public Library Event Calendar.

Emerald Innovation Program

The Emerald Innovation Program develops skills in leadership, team building, science, technology, and financial literacy to prepare students for college and careers. This Fall the majority of the cost will be subsidized through sponsorships and donors, so students should plan on registering early as space will fill up quickly. For questions please contact Dr. Wayne at or click here to register.


Genesis Youth Foundation

Provide services for African immigrant and refugee children and their immigrant families through athletic play, education, dance and song

Genesis Youth Foundation Events Calendar

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Join Girl Scouts FOR FREE! Girl Scouts is for girls who want to change the world, speak up for others, explore the outdoors, and have fun! Free 2020-21 membership for K-12 girls and adult volunteers. For more info, visit

Investing In My Future (IIMF)

Created to provide programs that assist African American children in understanding the value of an education and preparing them to take their rightful place as future leaders.

HBCU tour coming soon. For more information:

Iowa Safe Schools

Iowa Safe Schools offers Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) virtual meetings for students on Tuesdays & Fridays at 2:00 p.m.:

Drag Queen Story Time is the perfect activity while social distancing. Spread love, enjoy classic children’s books, and laugh along with our queens every Tuesday at 10 a.m. watch here:

Iowa State Extension (Polk County)

Polk County Extension provides reliable, research-based resources across a broad range of topics and interests that can support Des Moines families and students. Available online resources include:

  • educational resources for youth through Polk County 4-H and Iowa 4-H
  • health and financial information aimed at individuals, parents, children, and caregivers
  • nutrition programs to help keep families healthy
  • critical hotlines and phone numbers where Des Moines residents can reach out to an ISU expert directly.

Visit the Extension website for more information on specific classes and events:

Investing In My Future (IIMF)

Created to provide programs that assist African American children in understanding the value of an education and preparing them to take their rightful place as future leaders.

HBCU tour coming soon. For more information:

Jewels Academy

Jewels Academy is an organization that offers STEM and self-enrichment programs for underrepresented young women in 4th – 12th grades. The 10th – 12th graders are assistants to the workshop instructors. We provide young women with unique and challenging learning experiences. While preserving traditions and respect for its principles and values, Jewels Academy welcomes students of all faiths and socio-economic backgrounds. Here is the events calendar: Jewels Academy

One Iowa

October is LGBTQ History Month, and OneIowa is celebrating by sending out Pride Boxes to members of the LGBTQ community in Iowa!

Inside the pride boxes will be a “Equality for All” tote bag from The Side Garage, chocolate chip cookies from queer-owned bakery Thistle’s Summit, a potted air plant from Art Terrarium, One Iowa koozies, stickers, buttons and each box will include a different book written by an LGBTQ author. One Iowa and Amerigroup proudly sponsor these boxes.

Enter to win an LGBTQ Pride Box here

OneIowa will randomly select 50 winners, and they will be notified by October 15th and boxes will be shipped before the end of the month. If you have any questions, reach out to One Iowa’s communication coordinator, Maddie, at

Pi 515 Spring/ Summer programming

At Pursuit of Innovation (Pi515), we challenge, inspire and teach technology skills to students with potential – empowering refugee and underserved youth to achieve success, garner influence and gain stability in their families and communities. We are looking forward to a second cohort of our High School Tech Mentorship Program, Middle School Facebook Engineer for the Week, a Girls Entrepreneurship Summit, and a Summer Class.

Find out more: Join Pi515 via Zoom from 4:00-5:00PM on Thursday, January 27th. Please email if you have any questions, or cannot make the meeting time, but are still interested in more information. Kate Howe: / P: 515-518-9086

Polk County

For outdoor fun check out these events at the Polk County Event Calendar

Polk County 4-H

Polk County 4-H, in partnership with the Evelyn K. Davis Center, is recruiting for its upcoming program, 4-H Urban Youth Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy, open to youth in grades 8-11, provides leadership development, explores opportunities for youth leadership, provides youth a platform for developing communication skills, and helps prepare youth for leadership opportunities they may have in the future. The program begins meeting monthly in October and will run through July, culminating in a cohort-planned and -led Service-Learning Project. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with local community change agents during the guest speaker series. Please see the attached flyer to view the schedule, read additional information, and apply.


Join RAGBRAI – Ages 13-18
Dream Team is looking for Mentors! – See attached flyers: or call 515-207-5186

YMCA of Greater Des Moines

The YMCA website provides several virtual workouts for the body, mind and spirit: