Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

July 23, 2021


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.


Disaster Assistance for Additional Counties

Governor Kim Reynolds has issued disaster proclamations for 10 additional counties in response to severe weather beginning July 14 and continuing, and for one county in response to severe weather beginning June 24. The governor's proclamations allow state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for Appanoose, Bremer, Calhoun, Davis, Fayette, Lucas, Monroe, Sac, Wapello and Winneshiek counties for the July 14 severe weather, and Lucas County for the June 24 severe weather event. 

The governor had previously issued disaster proclamations for Davis, Linn, Monroe, Van Buren, and Wapello counties in response to the June 24 and continuing severe weather. 

For application deadlines for each county, program details, and instructions, visit the Iowa Department of Human Services' website. 

Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. Applications must be turned into your local community action agency

Disaster Case Management Program

The Disaster Case Management Program addresses serious needs related to disaster-related hardship, injury, or adverse conditions. Disaster case managers work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice, and referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor's proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action agency or visit www.iowacommunityaction.org.  

Additional Resources


Youth Creative Expressions Contest Winners

Each year, the Iowa Department of Human Rights and the National Youth in Transition Database host an annual Creative Expressions art contest for youth currently or formerly in child welfare and/or juvenile justice.  This year, youth were invited to submit artwork of any kind that reflects the theme, "See Me For Me: Looking Past Labels and Stereotypes." Fifty-six Iowa youth with system experience submitted a total of 67 pieces of artwork.  Artists had the opportunity to earn 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place ($100, $60, and $35 prizes respectively) in the contest. Those decisions are based on an artist rubric and a team of young people. In addition to these awards, a Fan Favorite Award was created ($100 award). 

   Black Kid Through White Eyes           See Me For Me
        1st Place "The Black Kid                               2nd Place:  "See Me for Me"
           Through White Eyes"

  Decisions    Before and After
              3rd Place:  "Decisions"                             Fan Favorite: "Before and After"

The artwork can be found here: bit.ly/SeeMeForMe and at locations throughout Iowa (if youth gave permission) as part of the Creative Expressions Showcase.  Art is currently on display at the following locations: Iowa WorkForce Development, Iowa Homeless Youth Center, and United Way of Central Iowa.


At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

All Test Iowa drive-thru test sites and clinic locations ended operations on July 16, 2021. The Iowa Department of Public Health and State Hygienic Lab have made at-home test kits available to Iowa residents free of charge following Test Iowa drive-thru test sites and clinic closures.

You can talk with your health care provider about your testing options. At-home test kits are available at no cost through the Test Iowa at-home program. Anyone who lives in Iowa is eligible to receive a free at-home test kit and can request one at testiowa.com.   After requesting a test kit, it will be sent to you. You can also pick one up from a nearby location. Home test kits can also be purchased at various retailers.  For more information, visit testiowa.com.


Scammers targeting new child tax credit 

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act, eligible families will receive monthly Child Tax Credit payments from the government from July 15 through December 2021. The Federal Trade Commission is warning people about scams targeting the new child tax credit.  

Scammers may call, email, text, or direct message you. They’ll lie and say they can help you get your payments earlier, get you more money, or use other scam tactics. 

The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips to avoid scams: 

  • Eligible families will receive payments automatically and do not have to sign up or register for Child Tax Credit payments.
  • The government will NEVER call, text, email, or direct message you out of the blue, asking for money or information. Do not share your Social Security, bank account, debit and credit card numbers.
  • The government will never demand that you pay by gift card, wire transfer through companies like Money Gram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency. .

If someone tries to scam you out of these payments or anything else, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.



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)


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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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