How to find temporary housing or shelter in Des Moines Iowa

If you are being evicted, you have to find a new place to live. Depending on how much time* and money you have, you might have to rely on friends or family for a while until you find a new place.

If you have time to find a new place, start looking right away.

Check out our article on Finding a New Place to Live for advice on how to find a place after an eviction.

If you are in an emergency situation and face homelessness, you may have to find temporary housing until you can get back on your feet. There are several options for temporary housing and shelter in the Des Moines area. Each program has different requirements and is dependent upon your situation. Read on to find out more about which option meets your immediate needs. Also check out our resource guide.

Click Here for the “If You’ve Been Evicted” E-book

The First Steps

If you’re having trouble finding a place to go, need financial assistance, or are in an emergency housing situation, start here. These are the first steps to get help finding a place to live if you are in a tough situation, financially or otherwise.

1. Contact Primary Health Care.

Primary Health Care works with local landlords and community agencies and can help you find housing. They are the first step in the process of finding appropriate housing.

Primary Health Care (centralized intake) 515-248-1850
1200 University Ave. #110A (entrance on west side of building)
Des Moines, Iowa 50314

2. Fill out an application for General Assistance.

Fill out an application with General Assistance and see if you meet the requirements. (If you have difficulty completing the form or need additional help, call and explain your situation.)

Polk County General Assistance 515-286-2088
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Fill out an online application (or print one and take it in). Or you can call Toni Hoyt at 515-286-3750 for a phone interview (email Toni.Hoyt@polkcountyiowa.gov). If you go in for an interview, you must have a valid ID, social security card and documentation of your last 30 days income and expenses. A landlord application may also need to be completed.

3. Call 211.

211 is a free dialing code to call and ask where to get help. It’s set up as a service to help anyone who needs assistance to connect with the right community organizations and agencies that can help them. (All information is confidential.)

Des Moines Area Shelters

The following are emergency shelters in the Des Moines area.

Central Iowa Shelters and Services 515-284-5719
1420 Mulberry
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
* Free emergency shelter for adult men and women (will help move toward self-sufficiency)

Children and Families of Iowa Domestic Violence Services 515-243-6147
Confidential location
* Shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children

Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (call Primary Health Care at 515-248-1850)
Des Moines, Iowa
* Shelter for families with children

Hope Ministries Bethel Mission 515-244-5445
1310 Sixth Ave
Des Moines, Iowa
* Free emergency shelter for men only

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) 515-883-2379
Youth Opportunity Center
312 Locust St
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
* Serves youth ages 16-22

New Directions Shelter 515-244-9748
3001 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa
* Serves families with children

Emergency Family Shelter (call Primary Health Care at 515-248-1850)
Catholic Charities
1535 11th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
* Emergency shelter for families

Youth Emergency Services and Shelter 515-282-9377
918 SE 11th St
Des Moines, Iowa
* Emergency shelter for youth of all ages

Rental and Public Housing

Anawim Housing 515-244-8308
1171 7th Street, Suite 1
Des Moines, IA  50314
* Visit Anawim’s requirements page to see if you qualify. They do not accept those with evictions in the previous 2 years and have minimum income requirements.

Oakridge Neighborhood Housing 515-244-7702
1401 Center Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
* Offers safe, affordable housing with additional services for individuals and families. Income restrictions. Contact Barb Cruchelow at 515.244.7702, ext. 168 to inquire about applying.

Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency 515-323-8950
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
* Offers public housing in Des Moines. To see if your eligible and/or to fill out an application, click here.

Temporary/Transitional Housing

In many cases, to access temporary and transitional housing, you will need a referral from a community agency. But feel free to call, visit, and read about the one(s) you’re interested in to get more details on the requirements and how to apply.

Annie’s House 515-779-4599
1136 Martin Luther King
Des Moines, Iowa
*Women only (no children, no alcohol/smoking)

Beacon of Life 515-244-4713  
1717 Woodland Ave
Des Moines, Iowa
* Women 18+ (Must be drug-free and looking for employment)

The Benedict Home Transitional Housing 515-779-6635
4425 University Avenue Ste 1
Des Moines, IA 50311
* Serves men, women, and families

Freedom for Youth Ministries 515-282-4822
2301 Hickman Road
Des Moines, Iowa
* Serves youth ages 18-21

Hansen House of Hospitality 515-282-0549
1521 Sixth Ave
Des Moines, Iowa
* For men recently released from prison

Harbor of Hope Mission 515-244-0370
803 Lyon St
Des Moines, Iowa
* Recovery home for adult men coming from prison or treatment programs

Home Connection 515-244-9748
3001 Grand Ave
Des Moines, Iowa
* Single-family housing for families with minor children

Hope Center for Women and Children 515-264-0144
3333 East University Ave
Des Moines, Iowa
* Short-term residential services for women and their children

House of Mercy 515-643-6500
1409 Clark Street
Des Moines, Iowa
* Permanent supportive housing programs

Lighthouse Transitional Living Program (call Primary Health at 515-248-1850)
(through Iowa Homeless Youth Centers)
Des Moines, Iowa
Helps young families (16-25 years) for up to 2 years

Rapid Rehousing 515-883-2379
(through Iowa Homeless Youth Centers)
612 Locust St.
Des Moines, Iowa
* Serves youth ages 18-22. Rent based on a sliding fee scale.

Ruth Harbor 515-279-4661
534 42nd St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
* Home for pregnant and new mothers. Fill out an application form or call for information.

YMCA Supportive Housing Campus 515-288-2424
2 SW 9th St.
Des Moines, Iowa
* Helps homeless individuals move into permanent housing (for both men and women).

At Coluzzi Real Estate, we care about our community. We go the extra mile to provide you and your family with the information you need.

*By law, your landlord must give you written notice (the time frame varies).

photo credit: Pixabay


About the Author:

Amanda has lived in the Des Moines area since 1999, where she and her husband have bought and sold a handful of homes over the years, including a recent flip. Amanda enjoys writing, obsesses about personal finance and is fond of looking at houses. She loves sharing useful tips and info to make life easier for anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. In her spare time, Amanda cherishes time with her family, volunteers with IHYC, gardens, hikes, and practices TaeKwonDo. You can read more of her writing at whywemoney.com