Iowa Organizations Receive A Community Thrivs Initiative Grants

Most affordable housing for low-income people in Des Moines consists of small apartments, which can be a real challenge for families with multiple children, says Philip Herman, executive director of the Highland Park Community Development Association of Des Moines. .

“Many of the families we work with have multiple children crammed into two-bedroom, one-bathroom homes, which can put additional stress on a family that might already be stressed out,” Herman says. “We work with our clients to try to place them in homes that better suit their needs.”

The HPCDA empowers poor families on the north side of Des Moines through a daycare, after-school and summer programs, and most recently, an affordable housing initiative. The organization has three homes for large families under the initiative – each with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. Families are paying $775 a month to rent the house for two or three years while they focus on improving their credit ratings, paying off debts and anything else that will help lift them out of poverty.

The HPCDA is one of seven Iowa nonprofits that received grants Oct. 25 from A Community Thrives.

A Community Thrives is a grantmaking and crowdfunding program of the USA Today Network, which includes the Des Moines Registry, and is part of the Gannett Foundation. A Community Thrives supports nonprofit organizations with projects focused on community development. Since 2017, the program has helped distribute more than $23 million in donations and grants across the country.

Highland Park Community Development Association

In addition to the three houses described above, the HPCDA has five other houses that it needs to refurbish to provide affordable housing for poor families. The organization has received a $15,000 grant from A Community Thrives, which will be used to renovate one of the houses – a 1925 house which will have a new roof and windows, as well as a bedroom and bathroom to accommodate a low-income single mother and her three children.

Greater Des Moines Family Promise

Family Promise partners with 14 Des Moines congregations to provide clean, safe overnight shelter and nutritious meals to homeless families with children. The organization also has a centralized drop-in center where families have a safe home while they work to find employment and permanent housing. This organization also received a $15,000 grant from A Community Thrives, which will be used to stock the day center with supplies as well as provide things like bus passes, gas cards and uniforms. schools for families coming out of homelessness.

Everyone wins Iowa!

Everyone wins! Iowa is a nonprofit children’s literacy and mentoring organization that offers weekly one-on-one reading aloud experiences with caring adult mentors. Through their Power Read program, volunteer mentors read aloud in one-on-one sessions with 450 central Iowa students who need help with reading, ESL, or general mentoring. The organization received $5,000 from A Community Thrivs, which is enough to cover the annual cost of 10 students enrolled in the program.

Central Iowa Wind Ensemble

The Central Iowa Wind Ensemble is an adult symphony group that performs a four-concert series and special events each year. The organization also partners with local social service agencies and sponsors a music competition for high school students. The organization received a $2,500 grant from A Community Thrives, which will be used to purchase a new timpani, allowing the organization to perform more technically challenging pieces and a wider variety of music.

Iowa Service Dogs

Iowa Services Dogs trains dogs to help first responders and veterans reintegrate into civilian life. The organization received 2,500 from A Community Thrivs. This grant will help the organization train a new Shiloh Shepherd puppy to be placed with a local veteran or first responder after completing a two-year training program.

Additional Iowa Grants

Allies at home helps low-income Ames residents secure long-term stable housing. The organization received $10,000 from A Community Thrivs for its initiatives.

public space one provides opportunities for underserved artists in Iowa City. The organization received $2,500 from A Community Thrivs.

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