Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

October 4, 2021
Special Edition Newsletter

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.

For a translation of this newsletter, please visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Language Access page and use the Google Translate tool on the web page.  For additional languages, access this Google document and Select "Tools/translate document" and choose language. 

New Low-Income Household Water Program

As part of an ongoing effort to address the financial impact of COVID-19, Iowa has received over $10 million in federal aid to help households that have fallen behind in water bills and are facing disconnection of service or have already been disconnected.

What is Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)? 

The new federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will provide assistance in the form of benefit payments made directly to water vendors on behalf of households for past-due charges, fees, and taxes for drinking and wastewater services.  The program will be administered by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and locally through Iowa’s Community Action Agencies that serve all 99 counties.

What is the application process? 

Iowans may apply by contacting their local Community Action Agency starting October 8, 2021. To locate the agency nearest you, please visit or call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at 515-281-3861.

Program eligibility mirrors that of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), meaning applicants must qualify to receive federal LIHEAP benefits, total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and a current water crisis must be present. 

When will the program end?

The application period is open year-round.  LIHWAP will run through September 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted. 

To learn more about LIHWAP, visit or contact your local community action agency


DHS Childcare Funding Opportunity

Did your organization (non-profit, church or community group) provide childcare during the pandemic so that parents could go to work?  If so, you may be eligible to apply for reimbursement of some or all of the cost of providing those services.  The Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering this grant process for the eligible organizations (listed below) to apply for up to $150,000.00 to reimburse your organization.  To be eligible to receive this funding, childcare services must have been provided or costs incurred between March 2020 and August 2021. In addition, the costs must have been incurred beyond normal operating expenses and the services provided in direct response to community needs. Applications are due on October 27, 2021.  More details are provided below, and if you have questions, or need assistance to apply, you may also send an email to for help.

Who’s Eligible?

 Eligible applicants include:

  • Non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, faith-based, or tribal organizations
  • Under Iowa Code 237A.1, a program that is not required to license as a childcare facility such as:
    • No more than 11 children per volunteer
    • Operates less than 4 hours during a 24-hour period
    • Provided at no cost to family
    • Church Related Instructional Program
    • Church Related Youth Program other than preschool, before or after-school childcare program, or other childcare program
    • Program operated not more than one day per week by volunteers that meet following:
    • Program administered by political subdivision of the state which is primarily for recreational or social purposes and limited to children 5 years of age or older who attend school
    • An after-school program continuously offered throughout the school year to children who are at least 5 years of age and enrolled in school; program must be offered through nominal fee or no cost
    • A special activity program that meets less than four hours per day for the sole purpose of the special activity
    • A nationally accredited camp

What expenses are eligible?

The State can offer reimbursement to eligible entities through one of the following options to be chosen by the applicant:

  • Option 1: Child Per Diem
    • Service must have been provided between March 2020 and August 2021.
    • Use average of Non-Registered CCA rate $12.10/per 5 hour block of time, regardless of age of child served
    • Organization provides attendance documentation on template provided
  • Option 2: Expense Reimbursement
    • Expenses must have been incurred between March 2020 and August 2021
    • Must be new expenses related to the services provided to children and families.  These funds cannot be used for normal operations expenses that were present or budgeted before March 2020.
    • Examples of allowable expenses: Meals, PPE, cleaning supplies, staff wages above and beyond normal operations, craft supplies, field trips not paid by parents

How do I apply?


Application Instructions:

  1. Fill out required information in grant application
  2. Fill out and attach completed W-9 form
  3. Option 1- Complete attached attendance documentation and return with completed application
  4. Option 2- Compile and transmit all invoices, receipts, timesheets, budget sheet, and other relevant documentation outlined below in the Documentation Checklist section along with completed application and W-9 

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All necessary documentation and completed application should be transmitted to no later than 10/27/2021.

Subject Line of Application Submission emails should follow the following format:

State of Iowa Community Organization Grant- Application Submission- Insert Name of Organization/ Applicant

If you have any questions about the program or application process, they should be transmitted to

Program Documentation Checklist:

  • Option 1 – Child Per Diem
    • Completed W9
    • Attendance documentation (see attached) for all services provided between March 2020 thru August 2021
  • Option 2 – Expense Reimbursement
    • Completed W9
    • Invoices/Proof of Payment of eligible expenses (meals, PPE, cleaning supplies)
    • Receipts of paid eligible expenses
    • Staff timesheets for wages earned above and beyond normal operations
    • Field trip expenses for trips not reimbursed by parents
    • For all eligible costs: include a budget sheet including date, description of expense, rational of how expense is related to the service provided for children, amount of expense, and copies of receipts/invoices 

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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