Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

October 27, 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.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Applications Begin November 1

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is reminding consumers that limited financial heating assistance is available to income-eligible utility customers through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The annual application period runs from November 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022. The application period for homes with elderly or disabled residents began October 1.

The LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary home heating costs through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Under LIHEAP or the weatherization assistance program, Iowa law protects qualified applicants who are the head of a household from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service from November 1 through April 1.

Although qualified applicants cannot be disconnected during the annual winter moratorium, the IUB urges all LIHEAP-certified customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt and facing potential utility service disconnection in the spring.

Eligibility for the federally funded LIHEAP program is based on household size and income, type of fuel, and type of housing. Interested applicants should review the federal income guidelines then apply at the community action agency serving their area. Heating assistance dollars for LIHEAP and the weatherization assistance program are limited.

For assistance, utility customers may contact their local utility company or contact the Iowa Utility Board Customer Service staff at 877.565.4450 or

Learn more on the Iowa Utility Board's LIHEAP webpage, or through the Iowa Department of Human Rights online at or call 515.281.3861

Fill Your Propane Tank Before Winter

Propane Iowa reminds Iowans that it's a good idea to fill your propane tanks this fall before cold weather hits. Demand for propane increases during the winter, and early fall is the best time to save money.  If you rely on a propane tank to heat your home, plan and schedule with your supplier to deliver and fill your tank to ensure there is enough for winter.  See Propane Iowa's tips on how to plan and prepare:  Propane Iowa

November is Native American Heritage Month

Every November, we celebrate the history, traditions, and contributions of Native Americans. Thank you to our friends at Iowa PBS for spotlighting Kelly Montijo Fink who serves as a member of DHR's Commission on Native American Affairs.  She is a Mexican/Apache/Spanish singer and songwriter, as well as a bilingual educator and international speaker.  Check out this video on Kelly:  Iowa PBS Video.

Tribal Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Tribal Emergency Rental Assistance Program is designed to keep Native American tribal members living in Iowa who fell behind on their rent and/or utilities during COVID-19 in their homes.  The Sac and Fox Tribe of Iowa Meskwaki Housing Program will administer the program through local networks of nonprofit agencies.  For details and eligibility, visit  

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit November 20, 2021

The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit’s mission is to bring businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community.

The Summit exhibits the success stories of immigrant entrepreneurs. The event strives to create true understanding among different ethnic groups, and business growth tips are shared among immigrant business owners. Keys to success are shared in a creative, competitive, and supportive environment.

     November 20, 2021 8:30am - 5:30pm

     FFA Enrichment Center
     1055 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy
     Ankeny, IA 50023

     Register here:  Register IES

Thank you to DHR Director San Wong for being part of the planning team! 

Filipino-American History Month

Filipino American Month

Celebrated in October, Filipino-American History Month recognizes the valuable and diverse contributions of Filipino-Americans in the United States and in Iowa.  Pictured top left is the proclamation signing with Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, and the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Filipino American Association (NaFFAA).  The Iowa Chapter partnered with Urbandale Public Library and provided education on the rich cultural and historical heritage of the Philippines  in the form of an exhibit of artifacts, books, popular cuisine, handicrafts, artwork, handmade jewelry. 

Information and photos submitted by
Malou Guieb Campos, NaFFAA Iowa Chair

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 Test Kits 

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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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