Merry Christmas! I hope this holiday finds you warm and snug at home with your loved ones. Unfortunately, for many families and children in Des Moines, they are not waking up to loads of gifts under the tree or even a roof over their heads.
“Homeless families are hidden from our view. They move frequently, and many are doubled-up in overcrowded apartments with relatives or friends. Others sleep in cars and campgrounds or send their children to stay with relatives to avoid shelter life. Once in shelter, despite the efforts of dedicated staff, life can be noisy, chaotic, and lack privacy. Homelessness increases the likelihood that families will separate or dissolve.” – The National Center on Family Homelessness
Homeless families and children exist in in every city and county in the state of Iowa. Thankfully, there are several organizations in Des Moines that assist homeless children and families. If you would like to donate, volunteer or help out in another way, they would be more than glad to receive your assistance!
Family Promise of Greater Des Moines
4114 Allison Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50310 • (515) 277-7051 • http://www.familypromisedm.org/
Family Promise of Greater Des Moines is a homeless shelter for children and families. The organization provides a safe place for families to stay through a network of 14 area faith-based host congregations that provide clean, overnight shelter and nutritious meals for a period of one week every three months.
Guests are also provided a safe, secure place to be during the day at the organization’s Day Center, which is located at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Families can also access supportive services at the Day Center.
3001 Grand Avenue • Des Moines, IA 50312 • (515) 243-7456 • http://www.hawthorn-hill.org/
Hawthorn Hill’s mission is to establish and operate housing programs for homeless families with children that help them obtain permanent housing, and to provide services to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Hawthorn Hill fulfills its mission through two programs that assist homeless families with children. New Directions Shelter; provides free, temporary, emergency shelter and services for homeless mothers and their children and The Home Connection, provides permanent supportive housing for homeless families with children with an emphasis on helping the families attain financial independence.
1111 9th Street #210 • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 243-1277 • http://www.homeincdsm.org/
Home Opportunities Made Easy, Inc. (HOME, Inc.) was founded in 1967 through the efforts of citizens concerned about the lack of decent, affordable housing. They are the oldest private, non-profit housing organization in Des Moines.
HOME, Inc.’s mission is to create opportunities for quality, affordable housing. Study after study report that quality, affordable housing enables people to stabilize their lives. To accomplish our mission, HOME, Inc. develops affordable housing, and provides both rental and home ownership counseling and education to families in Des Moines.
Iowa Homeless Youth Centers
1219 Buchanan Street • Des Moines, IA 50316 • (515) 265-1222 • http://www.yss.ames.ia.us/
YSS exists to provide prevention, education, treatment, and residential services to children, youth, and families; to advocate on their behalf, and to help them solve problems, grow, and be self-sufficient, responsible, contributing members of society. We strive to help children, youth, and families uphold dignity, build assets, and achieve independence.
YSS is in the business of changing lives, giving hope and improving odds by ensuring that youth have access to safety, guidance and caring adults. Each year, more than 8,000 youth are impacted through the opportunities YSS offers. More importantly, YSS is helping to instill values in these young people that they will carry with them for their entire lives; values like self-reliance, forgiveness and respect for others and themselves.
St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter
1535 11th Street • Des Moines, IA 50314 • (515) 282-1235 • http://www.dmdiocese.org/st-joseph-emergency-family-shelter.cfm
An initiative of Catholic Charites Diocese of Des Moines, St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter provides safe, clean housing for homeless families for a limited stay and is the only emergency shelter in Polk County where the entire family unit can stay together. St. Joseph’s mission is to honor the humanity of each person by acknowledging the emotional and financial crisis involved when a family finds itself without housing or funds. Of the 395 people St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter provided shelter to last year, 60% of them were children.
From our family to yours, Have a Very Merry Christmas Des Moines!