Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

June 24, 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.

Disaster Assistance for Multiple Counties 

Governor Kim Reynolds has issued disaster proclamations for a number of counties in response to severe weather.  The governor's proclamations allow state resources to be utilized to respond to, and recover from, the effects of this severe weather.  
In addition, the proclamations activate the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for these counties. 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. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website at Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim. The DHS website has specific deadlines for the various counties. 
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.

Iowa Community Action Association Training Conference

Iowa's community action agencies offer programs and services to reduce conditions of poverty, make energy more affordable, promote the health and safety of Iowa families, and enable low-income families and individuals to become self-sufficient.  The 2022 Iowa Community Action Association Training Conference will be held July 20-21 at the West Des Moines Marriott, 1250 Jordan Creek Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266.  You may attend in-person or virtually.  To register and view the Conference Program and description of workshops, click here:  ICAA Conference.  

Refugee Employment: 3-Part Webinar Series 

IowaWorks and the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa are offering insight for employers and communities to invest in themselves and the refugee population through a series of webinars.  In case you missed the first one on June 23, the next webinars will be June 30, and July 7 from 1-2 pm. See the flyer below for registration and more information. Registration form:

Refugee Employment Flyer

People You should Know 


Our People You Should Know series introduces you to Iowans who give their skills, talents and knowledge to make a real difference in Human Rights in Iowa. This month we feature Ilima Young-Dunn, an advocate of Hawaiian Heritage, and Professor of the Human Services Program at Des Moines Area Community College.  Watch her story on our YouTube channel.

Do you know someone who should be highlighted in "People You Should Know"? Nominate them here!

Immigrant Stories

Throughout Immigrant Heritage Month, we have had the pleasure of learning about, and embracing the different journeys, and stories that have brought our neighbors to call Iowa home. You can watch some of these stories here. Be sure to follow us on social media, to catch more Immigrant Stories. 

Immigrant stories

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

On July 16, 2022, in Iowa and nationally, a new 988 number will be available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for people dealing with a mental health crisis. 988 will be the new three-digit number for call (multiple languages), text or chat (English only) that connects people to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where accessible care and support are available for anyone experiencing mental health–related distress. The chat feature will be available through the Lifeline’s website. People can call 988 if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, any other kind of emotional distress, or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

If you need suicide or mental health-related crisis support, or are worried about someone else, please call or text 1-800-273-8255 or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor.  The Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support. The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available even after 988 is launched nationally.

For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255.

Stay Cool in Hot Weather

We have had some hot weather and heat advisories lately in Iowa.  If you are looking for a place to stay cool, call 211 or visit the 211 website, which has a list of cooling center locations and hours. These include public libraries and community centers.  Also be aware of heat-related illness, stay hydrated, check on your loved ones and pets, and stay informed.  

For Polk County, check DART's website or call 515-283-8100 for more information on when it offers free bus rides to the public cooling centers. 

Did you know that DART offers a reduced fare program for people 65 and older, persons with disabilities, refugees, students, and individuals receiving certain assistance?  Learn more here.  Reduced Fare Programs. 

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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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