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Strategic Partnerships

Toward Ending



Homeward exists to build partnerships, identify funding, and create solutions to homelessness in Polk County. We serve as Polk County’s homelessness planning organization, forging strategic collaborations between homelessness organizations, community partners, government officials, and people experiencing homelessness.


At Homeward, we believe the Polk County community has a collective responsibility to support residents experiencing homelessness by providing a variety of housing options and services. Together, we can ensure our neighbors have access to the resources they need not just to survive, but to thrive in stable, permanent housing.


Our Mission

Our mission is to create solutions to homelessness in Polk County by collaborating with partners and maximizing resources for a healthy, housed community.

Our Vision

Our vision is that one day, everyone in Polk County will have a safe place to call home. 

Our Values

  • Collaboration – We bring together staff, partners, and community members to achieve our common goals.

  • Innovation – We think outside of the box for new ways of doing things; we take action to create impactful change.

  • Integrity – We are honest and trustworthy in our interactions with others; we do what we say we’re going to do.

  • Equity – We acknowledge biases and disparities in our community and work to remove systemic barriers, ensuring all people experiencing homelessness have the supports they need.

  • Compassion – We care about the humanity of individuals experiencing homelessness and staff providers; we invest in the people behind the numbers.


Our Foundational Beliefs



Housing First

Research tells us that the most effective way to end homelessness is to quickly house people with no preconditions, requirements, or barriers. Once people are safely housed, they can then begin to pursue their goals and engage with services or treatment.


Racial Equity

Data shows us that people of color, and Black individuals in particular, are heavily over-represented in Polk County’s homeless response system. Homeward examines racial disparity in programs to build equitable services and dismantle systemic racism. 


Community Collaboration

Homeward acts in close partnership with the Polk County community to ensure a coordinated approach to preventing and ending homelessness. We collaborate across sectors to engage in innovative partnerships that elevate community voices. 

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