How To Access Housing and Resources
Polk County offers a Centralized Intake approach to homelessness resources, via our partner at Primary Health Care. This means there is a coordinated approach to securing homelessness services so people don’t have to repeatedly relive/restate their trauma to access help.
At Primary Health Care, clients complete an intake assessment to help resolve their homelessness and help staff better understand their strengths and needs. Individuals/families may be referred to a case manager, shelter, housing opportunities, mental/physical health assessments, specialists, benefits, or other agencies for further assistance.
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness in Polk County and in need of support, contact Primary Health Care at 515-248-1850 or by visiting 1200 University Ave. Des Moines, IA from Monday- Friday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm. For help after hours, call 2-1-1.
View a downloadable flyer with additional Centralized Intake information here.
The Polk County Community currently has opportunities for Mainstream and Housing Choice Vouchers for residents experiencing homelessness. To learn more and determine eligibility, residents can contact Primary Health Care at 515-248-1850 or 1200 University Ave.
COVID-19 presents significant challenges to the Polk County community, especially for our homeless response system. Homeward is here to serve as a hub for information and community collaboration. In an effort to help, we have compiled a list of resources below to assist community residents as they navigate this challenging time. We’re also working daily with our Polk County community to assess the spread of COVID-19, provide necessary equipment, and create plans for those experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19. We’re grateful for the strength of our community and the collaboration across Polk County as we all navigate this crisis together.
• RACI and Lutheran Services in Iowa, in partnership with 211, Polk County Heath Department, and the Iowa Department of Public Health, have launched a new hotline that will help expand access and capacity to Iowans who are limited in English at 1-877-558-2609.
• Housing Interpretation Hotline for landlords and limited-English-speaking tenants at 515-282-8269, Ext. 5.
• EMBARC Crisis Response Resources in 10 different languages
• Iowa Legal Aid: What You Need to Know About COVID-19
• Legal Hotline at 1-800-332-0419 Iowans experiencing any type of legal problem related to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, such as facing eviction, being denied unemployment benefits, experiencing employment issues, or being a victim of identity theft, can call. Callers will leave a message and Iowa Legal Aid staff will call them back.
• Eviction Lab Housing Services and Supports
National Resources & General Covid-19 Guidance
Where To Go For Help
If you are struggling to pay rent during the COVID-19 crisis, there is funding available to help!
View this document and reach out to the organizations in the order they're listed to find the resources right for you.
IMPACT is also partnering with various Polk County nonprofits to help distribute rental assistance funding. Residents can connect with organizations including the below for assistance.
• Iowa Congolese Organization and Center for Healing (ICOACH)
• Young Women’s Resource Center
• Evelyn K Davis Center
• Financial Empowerment Center
• Nisaa African Family Services
• Urban Dreams
• Oakridge Neighborhood
• Bhutanese Community in Iowa
• Proteus, Inc.
• Iowa Spanish Hotline
• Caring Hands Outreach
Prevention Of Homelessness
COVID-19 will have dire consequences on our community’s ability to maintain safe, stable housing. In preparation for this need, our community has begun partnerships to support residents, renters, and landlords. View the documents below for information about renters’ rights and community resources to prevent evictions during this time:
The Continuum of Care has also partnered with EMBARC to create translations of the information in a variety of languages to serve Polk County.