On November 8th, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mayor Frank Cownie and HUD Iowa Field Office Director Steve Eggleston, launched the opening of a new 24-unit addition to the Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS) center in Des Moines, Iowa. The shelter represents the focused vision of the city and the center to assist persons experiencing homelessness into a more stable, dignified and safe housing experience.
The project was funded by a consortium of sources totaling $5.6 million, including $2.7 million in federal Housing Trust Funds, $1 million in Federal Home Loan Bank grants, $500,000 from the state of Iowa, $400,000 each from the city of Des Moines and Polk County HOME funds, $250,000 of Polk County Housing Trust Funds, $200,000 from the Prairie Meadows Casino and another $200,000 in various private contributions.
The newly built units expand the already existing homeless facilities at CISS and provide residents with access to behavioral health specialists, critically needed health care, substance abuse services, life skills support, job training, and much more.
“For the 2000 formerly homeless Iowans who will live here at any given time, the studio apartments are much more than housing, they’re a ticket to independence and stability,” said Governor Reynolds at the ribbon cutting.
The project is a robust example of the Housing First method of homeless reduction, whereby immediate access to safe and secure housing is a key first step to helping households and individuals pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life and re-integrate with the broader community.
HUD Field Office Director Steve Eggleston further explains HUD’s role in fighting homeless in Iowa, “HUD is proud to partner with CISS and all those involved with this project. Our agency and the Biden-Harris administration are vested in strengthening strategies and collaborative efforts that aim to make homelessness a rare, brief and hopefully, non-recurring phenomenon.”