Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

October 2, 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.

We are hiring! 

The Iowa Department of Human Rights' Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning is seeking to fill the position of Juvenile Justice Specialist (Executive Officer 2). The candidate should be a leader and can partner with multiple collaborative entities to continually improve the juvenile justice system. The closing date for applications is October 5, 2020, at 11:59 pm.  For details, visit the State of Iowa Careers site.  

Census Deadline Extended to October 5

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has announced a target date of October 5, 2020, to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations. Don't wait. Learn how to respond at

Financial Assistance for Farmers

Farmers or ranchers whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2). The USDA is implementing CFAP2 for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. The application period is September 21-December 11, 2020. Learn more: 

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Programs

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. The assistance is based on household income, household size, type of fuel, and type of housing. View eligibility guidelines.

The program will accept applications beginning October 1, 2020, for households that have a member who is at least 60 years of age, or disabled, or where disconnection is imminent.  All others may apply beginning November 1, 2020.  The last day to apply is April 30, 2021.

Applications are taken at your local community action agency.  Anyone facing disconnection at any time should contact their local community action agency for assistance.

To find your local agency, you may call 2-1-1-, visit, or contact the Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) at (515) 242-5655 or 1-800-351-4659. LIHEAP information is available in multiple languages on the DHR's website.  

Weatherization Assistance Program

Households applying for LIHEAP will also be applying for the Weatherization Assistance Program.  Weatherization is a federal grant program established to help reduce the heating and cooling costs for low income persons, particularly the elderly, disabled, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, thereby reducing the households’ energy bills. The program also improves the health and safety of low-income homes. 

Local Community Action Agencies

Many community action agencies offer assistance such as food banks, food delivery initiatives, clothing, diapers, and other emergency and disaster relief needs. There is a network of 16 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.

Flu vs. COVID-19--Know the Difference

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Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 have some similarities, so it may be hard to tell the difference between them. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.  The CDC compares the flu and COVID-19 symptoms, how it can be spread, who are at risk, and approved treatments. 

Immigrant and Refugee Health Resources

The CDC also offers materials for Limited English Proficient populations.  Flyers are available in multiple languages about the flu, symptoms, and prevention and treatment. Health information in multiple languages may also be accessed at   

October is National Depression & Mental Health Screening Month

This month of observance is dedicated to raising awareness and screenings for mental health.  Screening can link affected individuals with appropriate treatment options. Like other health conditions, depression screenings should be a routine part of your healthcare.  Learn how to recognize the symptoms and when to seek help and be screened.

Bring your "A" Game

Mental health issues can affect businesses and employees. Raising awareness of mental health issues in the workplace can promote workplace well-being.  The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) says that employers can foster a mental health-friendly work culture by practicing the four A's:

  • Awareness-build awareness
  • Accommodations-provide accommodations
  • Assistance-offer employee assistance
  • Access-ensure access to treatment

Creating a supportive workplace that promotes and protects employees' health, safety, and well-being is important to employee job satisfaction and performance. 

Below are some additional mental health resources for individuals and employers. 

Special Circumstances and Voting

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.  Do you have questions about voting as an ex-offender, voting and homelessness, voting and domestic violence, voting with a disability, voting as college students, and voting for Iowa military and overseas voters?  Visit the Iowa Secretary of State's website for information. 

Voting with Assistance

Did you Know?

Source: Iowa Sec. of State

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

Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube

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  

Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)

Previous Newsletters

September 18, 2020

September 4, 2020

August 21, 2020

August 7, 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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