Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

January 21, 2022

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.

2020 Gender Wage Equity Study 

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women introduces the 2020 Gender Wage Equity Study. The first iteration of the Iowa Gender Wage Equity Study was produced more than 10 years ago via a partnership between the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Commission on the Status of Women and Iowa Workforce Development - Labor Market Information Division. This version of the report relied on this existing partnership, as well as funding from the Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program within the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). The RPE program along with the Commission on the Status of Women determined that an update of the report was an essential piece to a better understanding of the economic situations and opportunities for women in the state of Iowa. The data presented in this report may be used by a variety of stakeholders for these purposes. The Commission on the Status of Women and the RPE program at IDPH support continued access to quality data, analyses, and information provided in this report. The data included in the report is pre-pandemic and does not represent the impact of the pandemic. 

The 2020 Gender Wage Equity Study can be found here. 

Free COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are an important way to help end the pandemic. Everyone age 5 and older in the United States can now get a free COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. To locate a provider in Iowa, visit  

Free COVID-19 Home Tests

You can now order four free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government.  Residential households in the U.S. can order one set of four free at-home tests from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Here's what you need to know about your order:

  • Limit of one order per residential address.  
  • One order includes four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests
  • Orders will ship free starting in late January

Place your order through the U.S. Post Office at or call 1-800-232-9233.  If you experience problems, you can file a service request at or call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

Homelessness Resources

The Emergency Solutions Grant assists people to quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and or homelessness.

Individuals may not apply directly to the Iowa Finance Authority for assistance. If you are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of becoming homeless, the best place to start is the Coordinated Entry system.

In most of Iowa, call (833) 739-0065 or email. In Des Moines and Polk County, call Centralized Intake at (515) 248-1850.

General information about service agencies can be found at

Additional Resources: 

Tax Season begins January 24, 2022

The Iowa and federal tax season will both begin January 24, 2022, when the tax agencies will accept and process 2021 tax year returns.  Eligible individuals can get free tax prep help through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.  To find a provider, visit  

Helping Refugees

The Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa (RACI) and its partners have opened a centralized donation facility that is accepting gently used household donations to help newly arriving families.  For a list of acceptable items and other ways to help, visit RACI's website at

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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