Iowa Department of Human Rights Newsletter

iowa department of human rights

August 5, 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

On July 25, 2022, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Allamakee, Clayton, Harrison, Shelby, and Winneshiek counties in response to recent severe weather. The governor's proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to, and recover from, the effects of this severe weather.  
In addition, the proclamation activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for those five 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. 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 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

Iowa's Tax-Free Weekend August 5 & 6

It's back to school time, and families can save on sales tax on select clothing and shoes during Iowa's annual tax holiday.  The tax-free weekend begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 5, and ends at midnight on Saturday, August 6.  The holiday does not include Sunday. 

For details on what types of items are tax-free and what are not, visit the Iowa Department of Revenue's website:

Put COVID-19 Vaccines on Your Back-to-School List

As families are preparing to go back to school, now is a good time to have children vaccinated against COVID-19.  Getting fully vaccinated by the time school starts will help protect children and others.  It also takes time for the vaccine to build up protection.  

The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.  To locate a vaccine provider, visit, call 1-800-232-0233, or text your zip code to 438829.

Visit the CDC website to learn more:  COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens.

Prepare to Vote - Spanish Materials

As the general election approaches in November, it's time to ensure that you are prepared to vote.  Voting is one of the most impactful things you can do.  Leaders and important issues have been decided by voters.  

To promote accessibility to voting and civic engagement, the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council Disabilities has developed a voting resource for Iowans with Disabilities and Spanish speakers.  Information on absentee ballots, steps to vote, and voting rights in English and Spanish can be found here:

Additional information on registering to vote, castings a ballot, important dates, and other resources can be found on

We are Hiring!

The Iowa Department of Human Rights is seeking to fill two AmeriCorps positions to work with youth.  For details and how to apply, click the links below:

Summer Cooling Assistance

Iowa Community Action Agencies' LIHEAP crisis assistance program offers cooling assistance to eligible households. Eligibility depends on household income, household size, and other factors.  Cooling assistance may include a window air conditioner, fan, or repair of a central air conditioning unit up to $500.  Assistance may also be available for help with past-due electric bills to prevent disconnection of service, or restore service if disconnection has already occurred. 

To apply for crisis assistance, contact your local community action agency

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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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