Polk County Decategorization

General Resources for Families



I M CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER to report changes: 1.877.347.5678

Information are provided by Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Institute for Community Alliances and various providers

As part of econimic revitalization at Park Fair Mall, Renew Resale Shop has awesome house hold items, children's items and clothes for low price ($1 ~ $6).

Children at Home - Free Support for Children with Disabilities

Rent or respite care? Groceries or new eyeglasses? For parents of children with disabilities, choosing between their family’s basic needs and disability-related items can often be difficult. Many services, devices and equipment are available to aid in development and improve a child’s quality of life. Unfortunately, insurance and other programs may only cover a portion of the cost, or perhaps not at all.

The Children at Home (CaH) Program may be able to help families with some of these expenses.

Children at Home (CaH) is a non-profit program of the Iowa Family Support Network and can help families caring for a child (up to age 22) with a disability by providing financial assistance for items or services not covered by other programs.


• child and family must live in Iowa;

• child must be less than 22 years of age

• child must have a disability that meets the definition of developmental disability

• the family’s federal net (not gross) taxable income for the most recent tax year is less than $60,000

Examples may include: special adaptive devices, out-of-area travel expenses, nutritional supplements, respite care or educational seminars for caregivers, special camps and items to make your home safe or more accessible for a child. (See enclosed handout).If an item or service provides a direct benefit to a child and is related to the child’s disability, families may qualify for up to $700 in assistance per child annually. There is no charge to apply for or participate in this program. It is our goal to connect as many qualifying Iowans with the support they need.

CONTACT US TODAY! If you have questions about this program or want to refer someone to apply for assistance, please contact the Iowa Family Support Network:

1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371)
IAFamilySupportNetwork@everystep.org (email)
IAFamilySupportNetwork.org  (website)

Mosaic Family Counseling STEPPS (Systems Training for Emotional Predictability & Problem Solving) group

Do you know someone that is seeking mental health counseling but does not have insurance?

Mosaic Family Counseling Center Inc provides services to those without insurance for a low fee as part of our internship-practicum program

NOW ACCEPTING REFERRALS FOR ADULTS & ADOLESCENTS! The 20 week STEPPS program is a great approach for people struggling with emotional intensity and impulse control. Call for more information to schedule an intake appointment. Wellmark and Medicaid Plans accepted.

5005 Douglas Avenue, Suite 101
Des Moines, IA, 50310

Asian Community Organization List and contact information - Download here.

DMACC Area Resource Guide | Counseling Referral Resource - Download here.

Greater Des Moines Area Community Resources Book - click here to download

  • Hotlines
  • Food Meal Sites
  • Food Pantries
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Temporary Housing
  • Rental Housing
  • Health Care
  • Mental Health/Substance Abuse
  • Financial Services
  • Community Center
  • General Services
  • Advocacy
  • Legal
  • Clothing Vouchers
  • Thrift Stores

Broadlawns Medical Center Community Resource Directory - click here to download

VNS Community Resource Directory - click here to download

211 search for resources in Iowa and Nebraska - click here

CPPC Madison, Marion & Warren Counties

What's happening this week in Madison, Marion and/or Warren County. - Visit here!

To view the most up to date version of the Directories, click here.

Center for Latino Affairs in Des Moines

The Center for Latino Affairs in Des Moines is a partnership between local organizations  that stives to provide information and referrals services for the Latino community in Central Iowa and bridge the language gap.

All the providers are bilingual, from agencies that serve the Latino community and they can provide the following information/services:Referrals

  • Know Your rights
  • Notary Services
  • Health
  • Finances
  • Employment Opportunities
  • Parenting Support
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Education
  • And more

When: The second Monday of each month

Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Location: Goodwill Career Connection Center (5921 SE 14th Street, Suite 2300, Des Moines, IA)

Contact Sonia Reyes-Snyder sonia.reyes-snyder@iowa.gov for more details.

Cross Ministries  --  3226 University Avenue  --  Des Moines, IA, 50311  --  (515) 279-9998  --  http://www.crossministriesdm.org/


  • Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Emergency Food
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing Assistance
  • Public Transportation
  • Utility Assistance

DMARC Housing Stability Fund

The DMARC Housing Stability Fund provides emergency financial assistance to prevent families from becoming homeless. To learn more and request help visit here.

Types of requests considered :


  • Rent Deposits
  • Rent Payments

Utility Support

  • Power is off or power will be disconnected in a short time
  • Cannot make the payment without assistnace

Greater Des Moines Recreational Activity Scholarship Program: GRASP

If your household meets the established income guidelines, your income is verified, and you are a resident of the city of Des Moines, you qualify to receive discounts on swim lessons, tennis lessons, basketball and much more! Call IMPACT Community Action Partnership at 515-518-4770 to schedule an appointment or walk in at 3226 University Avenue.

Account Registration - Parks and Rec required, see here about Grasp Card participation. Download a flyer here.

Healthy Start & Empowerment Project

The Healthy Start and Empowerment Project by VNS (Visiting Nurse Services Of Iowa) offers services to families that would like extra help to make sure they have a healthy mom, healthy child and healthy family. If you are a pregnant woman and family member with a child up to the age of six living in Polk County, you can use these services. Please learn more here.

HIRTA Public Transportation  --  2824 104th Street  --  Urbandale, IA 50322  --  1-877-686-0029, 7-1-1 (Hearing Impaired TTY), 800-735-2943 (Hearing Impaired Voice)  --  www.ridehirta.com

  • Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 – 4:00
  • Extended hours in Knoxville: Mon-Fri 6:00am-6:00pm

The Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency provides public transit service available to all citizens and visitors of Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Story, and Warren Counties in central Iowa, enhancing quality of life, enabling access to employment and education, and promoting independent lifestyles for central Iowa residents.

HIRTA in Knoxville has extended hours Monday through Friday.

*Download "amble" to plan your trip easily on your phone!

Homelessness Resource : Tuck

Below portal contains a complete directory of all emergency shelters in the US, organized by state, with contact information (phone, web and address) as well as all of the services they offer plus a curated compilation of national and online resources for those affected by homelessness looking for help.

Visit a portal here: https://www.tuck.com/sleeping-homeless/

*Tuck aims to improve sleep hygiene, health, and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free resources. Boasting the largest collection of aggregated data on sleep surfaces on the web (over 95,000 customer experiences from nearly 1,000 individual sources), Tuck aims to power consumers, sleep professionals, and the troubled sleeper looking for answers. Check back often for updates and expanded sleep product information.

Iowa Rideshare

Iowa Rideshare is a FREE to use, online commute-matching system that lets registrants serach for carpools, vanpools, transit routes, and bike/walk/transit buddies in IOWA.

Visit IowaRideshare.org and register today! Download a flyer here.

SFFC is a movement of volunteers that come along side families in crisis by hosting vulnerable children in certified homes and surrounding that family with extended family-like support. Visit SFFC website to learn more here

Joy Greer
Safe Families for Children in Des Moines

Creative Visions - visit website here

Food Pantry:

  • Mondays through Thursdays 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM
  • Saturdays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Sunday Meals:

  • We serve free Sunday Meals from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Free Weekly Health Clinic:

  • Sponsored by Broadlawns Medical Center, Regency Nursing Services, Inc, Creative Visions
  • Clinic Offerings Include:  Diabetes Screening, STD Tests, Pregnancy Tests, Sick Visits, Drug Tests, Blood Pressure Checks Preventive Health Information, School or Sports Physicals, Financial Counseling

Free Guitar Lessons:

  • Tuesdays at 4:30 PM

Free Quilting Classes:

  • Wednesdays from 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Beginners to Advanced
  • Instruction by Community Master Quilters

FREE COMMUNITY MEALS IN INDIANOLA, click here. * Please kindly note that the phone number of the First Assembly of God Church listed in the document here is incorrect. Correct information is as follows: "First Assembly of God Church, 1700 W Second Ave; 515-961-8488; 5:30-6:30 p.m."

Food Pantries/programs

  • Warren County, click here.
  • Polk County, click here or visit here to learn more.
  • Food Bank of Iowa - Mobile Pantry Program at Milo and Indianola. Download a flyer here.
  • DMARC Mobile Food Pantry Learn more click here.
  • Mobil Food Pantry to launch at DART Central station!  Thursday, March 1, from 4-6 p.m., the DMARC Mobile Food Pantry will be in service for the first time at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry Street in Des Moines. The Mobile Food Pantry will be operating at DART Central Station every first and third Thursday of the month from 4-6 p.m. going forward.

FREE PET FOOD for those in need of assistance

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is partnering with DMARC’s new Mobile Food Pantry. The ARL will join DMARC at selected locations to distribute free pet food to those in need of assistance. No proof of income or documentation is required, but please be prepared to complete a short questionnaire. Supplies are limited.

For questions, please contact Kim Wolf, Community Outreach Coordinator for the ARL, at kwolf@arl-iowa.org or (515) 218-0127.

The ARL will be at the South Suburban YMCA on the 4th Wednesday of each month.  They will be located next to the DMARC Mobile (Human) Food Pantry.

Proteus --3850 Merle Hay Road, Suite 100 -- Des Moines, IA 50310 -- (515)271-5303 www.proteusinc.net


  • Educational Services
  • Vocational Training
  • Career Placement Services
  • Health Care Services
  • Worker Protection Standard Training
  • Heat Stress Training
  • Rent Smart Education

Proteus Legal Clinic

2nd Monday of the month, 5:30-7:30pm; 3850 Merle Hay Rd (Merle Hay Mall Tower, near parking structure)

Low Fee Mental Health Counseling for Uninsured

Mosaic Family Counseling Center Inc will begin offering services to those without insurance for a low fee beginning January 2018 as part of our internship-practicum program (January 29-July 31 2018)

To refer someone who is need of our services please have them call our office for an intake appointment at 515-724-8920


Iowa community action agency programs and resources for paying bills and emergency needs

Foster Care Clinic - Blank Children's STAR Cente  -- 1215 Pleasant Street, Suite 303  --  Des Moines, IA 50309  --  (515) 241-4183  --  Visit Website


FREE one-stop medical and mental health services

Case coordination, dental screenings, specialist referrals

General Assistance - Polk County  --  2309 Euclid Avenue  --  Des Moines, IA 50310  --  (515) 286-2088  --  Visit Website


GENERAL ASSISTANCE provides temporary assistance for basic or special needs to low income persons who reside in Polk County Eligibility is determined by Financial Assistance Specialists in accordance with General Assistance Ordinance Can provide temporary rent, utility, food assistance, beds, property tax suspension, burial assistance, and medical supplies. For qualifying individuals, assistance may be available for a fridge or stove Propane assistance is also available May assist with transportation to out of town appointments.

PROPERTY TAX SUSPENSION assists elderly and disabled homeowners who may qualify for suspension of property taxes. Contact Mary Jo Smith at (515) 286-3133.

FUNERAL EXPENSE ASSISTANCE: Dan,286-3385, administered through General Assistance. Income guidelines.

BRING THE FOLLOWING INFO: Proof of income from the last 90 days, photo ID, social security cards for all household members Additional information needed will be determined at intake.

Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 am-4:30 pm

Society of Saint Vincent De Paul - Des Moines

1426 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50314, Polk County
Business: (515) 282-8328, Business Fax: (515) 282-4751
Website: www.svdpdsm.org

  • Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Emergency Food
  • Food Assistance
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing Assistance
  • Material Aid
  • Utility Assistance

Woodward Community Based Services

Woodward Community Based Services | 611 5th Ave, Ground Floor, Des Moines, IA 50309 Phone: 515-274-9607, 537-2961, 537-2964 Fax: 515-274-9614

Website: https://www.wcbscares.com/


  • Re-Entry Program (Clients are referred through Juvenile Court)
  • Residential Foster Group Home Placement
  • Behavioral Health Intervention Services
  • In-Home Adult Habilitation Services
  • Substance Abuse Programming
  • Clinical Services
    • Outpatient Mental Health Services
    • Expressive Therapies - Art and Yoga Therapy
    • Outpatient Sexual Offender Treatment Program


1111 Ninth Street -- Des Moines, IA 50314  -- (515) 288-1516  --  Visit Website


CHILDREN AT HOME program is designed to assist families raising a child with a disability in obtaining needed services and supports they identify as necessary in helping their child remain at home. An underlying principle of the Children at Home program is that the family retain control of decisions which affect their child and family. Financial assistance is intended to enable families to obtain those services and supports which are not met by other programs.  1-888-425-4371 www.iafamilysupportnetwork.org

ADULT HEALTH MAINTENANCE CLINICS provide blood pressure check; foot care; blood glucose, hemoglobin and total cholesterol tests Services are provided at local community and senior centers, and other community locations. 515-558-9591.

HOME HEALTH CARE Services are provided to individuals with rehabilitation needs or chronic health conditions who are residing in their homes and are unable to access Health Care Services in a clinical setting, or could be best served at home Skilled Registered Nurses provide services, including wound care; medication administration; physical assessments; monitoring vital signs; infusion therapy; catheter care; nutrition assessment; health education and home safety assessments Social Workers provide case management, counseling and access to community resources Home Care Aides provide assistance with home management, personal care, meal preparation and laundry. Residents of Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Polk, Story and Warren Counties who are insured or uninsured; also accept Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance and provide a sliding fee scale based on income and financial resources 515-558-9591.

MATERNAL CHILD HEALTH PROGRAM provides nursing visits to pregnant and parenting women living in Clinton, Dallas, Jackson, and Polk counties. Services include: prenatal and postpartum health education, child development screening. Interpretation services are available for Spanish, Somali, Karen, Burmese, Chin, Vietnamese, Arabic, Swahili, Nuer, Bendi, Laotian, Thai Dom and Thai-speaking mothers and families. 515-558-9946

STORYBOOK PROJECT supports children with incarcerated parents by enhancing the relationship between the child and their parent due to the difficult period of separation. Monthly reading sessions are held at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women in Mitchellville, the Newton Correctional Facility and the Clarinda Correctional Facility. Staff and volunteers assist incarcerated parents and grandparents with selecting and reading a book to their child via recording, and sending the book and recording home to their child. 515-558-6228

CARE FOR KIDS/EPSDT provides health information to families, referrals to health providers that accept Title 19, health education, parenting education and referrals to community resources and services. Care for Kids serves families in Clinton, Dallas, Jackson, and Polk Counties Services are provided in English and Spanish. (877) 540-1422, or email careforkids@vnsia.org.

STORK'S NEST offers an opportunity for pregnant women to earn needed baby items and to receive prenatal and parenting education. Pregnant or newly parenting women in Polk County who are living on an income less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level Participants are eligible to participate Stork's Nest participants work with a trained point manager to earn points for taking healthy steps for the well-being of the fetus and newborn The points can be spent in the Stork's Nest for needed baby care items including diapers, clothing, cribs and car seats Program participants can also attend prenatal and parenting classes through the Stork's Nest Services are provided in English, Spanish and other languages, as available 515-558-9950.

POLK COUNTY HEALTHY START AND EMPOWERMENT PROJECTS offer voluntary case management services to families that would like extra support to ensure a healthy mom, healthy child and healthy family Services include home visits; prenatal, postpartum and parenting education; child development screening and education; support and therapy groups; links to other resources; parent involvement opportunities; transportation to and from healthcare and other appointments; and interpretation services. Bilingual case managers and interpreters are available for non-English speaking families, as available Referrals can be made by a physician, social worker, family member or friend 515-558-9946.

SENIOR COMPANION PROGRAM offers companionship and assistance with daily living needs to homebound adults through the Senior Companion Program. The program recruits and trains adult seniors, age 55+, who provide support to homebound adults in Polk and Warren Counties to help them maintain a happy, healthy life at home. Senior Companions assist with picking up medication; providing respite for caregivers and family members; and companionship. 515-558-9957.

1ST FIVE assists medical practitioners in Polk and Dallas Counties to provide social/emotional, family stress and parental depression screenings during well-child medical exams Providers refer families with elevated risk factors to the 1st Five program, which provides care coordination to link children and families to needed community resources and services, including counseling, food assistance, housing, child development programs and support for children with specialized needs After resource and referral information is provided to the family, the VNS of Iowa Care Coordinator then apprises the referring medical provider to the outcome of the referral. 515-558-9608.

IOWA FAMILY SUPPORT NETWORK (IFSN) is a free statewide, central point of contact and directory for children with disabilities and specialized needs, their families, their service providers and other members of the community Early ACCESS provides information and referrals to community-based services through a website, an online searchable resource directory and a toll-free telephone service Information specialists are available via telephone and e-mail, Mon-Fri 8am-7pm 1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371) or visit www.iafamilysupportnetwork.org.


Hours: Mon-Fri 7:45 am-4:30 pm

Primary Health Care

Locations: http://www.phcinc.net/locations/

Most forms of insurance are accepted including Medicaid & Medicare. Insured or not, you may qualify for discounted services based on your annual income and family size. Sliding scale-requires all financial paperwork (proof of income such as: paystubs, tax returns, etc.) at the time of service.

The Weekly Word: "When Sad Looks Mad"

Check out the following highlights in our Weekly Word!

When Sad Looks Mad

Theraplay Activities

Help! My Child Runs Away

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Adventures in Therapeutic Strategies for Traumatized Children

To read this week's newsletter, click here


Natural Resources:Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children

Corporal punishment – or the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool –increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control. In fact, new evidence suggests that it may cause harm to the child by affecting normal brain development. Other methods that teach children right from wrong are safer and more effective.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has strengthened its call to ban corporal punishment within an updated policy statement, "Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children" . The policy statement, which was published in the December 2018 issue of Pediatrics, also addresses the harm associated with verbal punishment, such as shaming or humiliation. The AAP supports educating family members and caregivers on more effective discipline strategies that teach appropriate behavior and protect the child and others from harm.





General Resources