Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

July 24, 2020

We are here to help.

The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage.  Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.

Join Our Team


The Iowa Department of Human Rights is partnering with Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach to have AmeriCorps members serve as the Coordinator for the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council and the Coordinator for the Iowa Youth Congress

For details on the positions and and how to apply, visit

Extended Unemployment Benefits

Iowans who have exhausted their entitlement of the additional 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) may be eligible for the State Extended Benefit (EB) program of up to an additional 13 weeks. The payable period for State Extended Benefits (EB) in Iowa began the week of May 17, 2020, when the 13-week average insured unemployment rate reached 5.0%.  Unemployed workers who exhaust their allotted weeks of regular state unemployment and then the 13 weeks of federal PEUC benefits will now be eligible for State EB, which provides up to an additional 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits while State EB is still triggered “On” in Iowa.  For more information, visit

Rent and Mortgage Assistance


Iowa Finance Authority's COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program provides short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to a documented COVID-19 related loss of income.  Housing Recovery Helpline 855-300-5885

Des Moines Residents

The Rental/Mortgage Assistance program provides one-time or short-term (no more than three months) emergency payments are available on behalf of individuals or families, For eligibility requirements and program details, call IMPACT Community Action Agency at 515-274-9496.

West Des Moines Residents

West Des Moines Human Services offers emergency financial assistance to help qualifying residents of West Des Moines.  Emergency Financial Assistance provides partial payments in a crisis situation towards rent, gas/electric and water utility bills, or fuel along with assistance in working with related organizations/agencies.  For more information, call 515-222-3660. 

Rent and Mortgage Resources

Swahili flyer

EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center) partnered with Polk County Continuum of Care to translate eviction rights into multiple languages.  Download a translated flyer from EMBARC's Facebook page. 

Iowa International Center 515-282-8269, ext. 5 (180+ languages)  Free housing interpretation hotline helps landlords and limited-English-speaking tenants communicate better during rent and lease negotiations, maintenance notifications and repairs, lease terminations, or whenever clear communication is essential. 

Iowa Mortgage Help  877-622-4866  State-wide referral hotline, foreclosure intervention and negotiation, mediation services (website available in Spanish)

Iowa COVID-19 Free Legal Hotline

Iowa COVID-19 Legal Advice Hotline 800-332-0419   Iowans experiencing legal issues related to COVID-19, such as eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues or identity theft may call the hotline.  Callers can leave a message, and a representative will call them back. The hotline is a project of Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Associatio,n and the Polk County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Community Action Agencies

Many community action agencies offer assistance such as food banks, food delivery initiatives, clothing, diapers, and addressing other emergency needs. There is a network of 17 community action agencies that serves all of Iowa's 99 counties. To find a community action agency near you, visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website.

COVID-19 Testing for Uninsured

Uninsured individuals who may be positive for COVID-19  have the option of getting tested at Broadlawns Medical Center and Primary Health Care. Through special funding through the CARES Act, both healthcare systems can test and treat uninsured individuals for free.

Primary Health Care (PHC)

The Respiratory Clinic is open to all; being a PHC patient is not a requirement. The clinic is located immediately south of the Engebretsen Medical Clinic at 2401 SE 14th Street. Hours of operation are 8:00 - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday.  Individuals will be tested if they meet criteria set in place by Iowa Department of Public Health and by the clinician.
No appointments are necessary. Patients will be seen in the order they arrive. Questions or to schedule a Telehealth appointment to talk with a healthcare provider first, patients are encouraged to call their home PHC location. All others may call (515) 248-1400. Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to to call first before entering a PHC Clinic or go directly to the Respiratory Clinic.

Broadlawns Medical Center

Symptomatic patients can come to the Broadlawns Urgent Care at the hospital which is open Monday through Friday from 8 am-8 pm and Saturday 9 am-3 pm. Symptoms per CDC recommendations include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, generalized muscle pain (not injury related), headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.

Persons without symptoms who are concerned about whether or not they need testing due to exposure to a known COVID person may be tested by their Primary Care Provider in any of the Broadlawns Primary Care or Family Medicine clinics.

COVID-19 Test Iowa Sites/Schedules

The Test Iowa COVID-19 test is free and available to Iowans wishing to get tested, regardless of symptoms or potential exposure. Before heading to a Test Iowa location, you must first complete an online assessment at the Test Iowa website at  You will then receive instructions on your scheduled appointment and location. Information about the COVID-19 Test Iowa locations and schedules is available at the State's website

FCC Designates 9-8-8 for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 9-8-8 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) and through online chats. Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at, or texting 838255.

See news release:

Respond to the 2020 Census

You can still complete the 2020 Census questionnaire online, by phone, by mail, or when a census taker comes to your door.  Visit or call 844-330-2020 to get started. Language support is available.  Learn more at

Avoid Census-related Fraud and Scams

We've heard about COVID-19 scams, but scammers are also taking advantage of the Census survey.  Census takers will never ask you for information about your social security number, bank account or credit cards, or ask for money. For more on census scams, visit

CDC-Considerations for Schools


As some communities open schools, CDC offers guidance for ways in which schools and parents can help protect students, teachers, administrators, staff, and families.



COVID-19 Language Resources

American Sign Language Videos-CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations

Congolese Health Partnership Videos

Coronavirus, State Website

Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language

EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center

Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936 

Multi-Lingual Hotline  1-877-558-2609
(Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa and partners)

Test Iowa-COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

Previous Newsletters

July 10, 2020              

June 26, 2020

June 19, 2020

June 12, 2020

June 6, 2020


Are there other resources we should know about? Let us know.

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Iowa Department of Human Rights
Lucas State Office Building
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-242-5640 or 1-800-351-4659
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