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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services, Job Training, Religion

Mission: Central Iowa Shelter & Services' mission is to provide free shelter and meals to homeless adults regardless of physical or emotional conditions, and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency.

Target demographics: Homeless Adults (18+)

Direct beneficiaries per year: almost 2,000 unduplicated individuals through our homeless opportunity center

Geographic areas served: Central Iowa

Programs: emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing with a community service wing providing an on-site health clinic, food pantry, clothing closet and classroom.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

It is beyond obvious that every reviewer is a board member. This is the worst shelter as far as actual services provided. The food served at breakfast and lunch will give you diabetes, if it doesn't poison you. Case managers have for the most part no knowledge of services available to help people. The management get large salerys, when it is supposed to be a non profit. Theft of V.A. funds to the tune of several million dollars, the loss of the C.R.R.C. program for instance. Even if a "client" hasn't used their services in 10 years they will be considered a client forever.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the past year, Central Iowa Shelter and Services has assisted more than 1,200 guests, providing transitional shelter opportunities, as well as shower and laundry facilities. CISS also offers a weekly medical clinic, HIV screenings and counseling services, substance abuse and mental health evaluations, legal aid and GED exam preparation. The organization is focused on providing a host of resources to help clients achieve independent living such as case management, counseling, life skills instruction. In the past year, CISS has successfully placed 152 individuals were transitioned into stabilized housing. Their commitment to our community goes beyond their own walls. The Central Iowa Shelter Community Kitchen program delivered more than 89,000 meals at six sites around Polk county last year alone.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a board member for over 6 years and seen Central Iowa Shelter and Services transition from a facility that solely focused on emergency sheltering to one that is committed to helping individuals on a path to self sufficiency. The staff and volunteers of Central Iowa Shelter and Services are first rate and truely committed to making a difference in the greater Des Moines community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Central Iowa Shelter & Services because I want to do something that is a direct benefit to the people in our community as well as the community as a whole. I have limited time to volunteer, so its important to me that I work with an organization that is well-run and truly dedicated to its mission. CISS is both. Its staff works hard with their clients to help them become independent, and they work tirelessly to provide as many services as possible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at Central Iowa Shelter and Services in September 2010 and was immediately impressed with how well the organization is run and how welcoming and helpful the staff are. Another thing that impresses me about the shelter is how well connected it is to the community. Several restaurants and bakeries regularly supply their extra food to the shelter, many civic and religions organizations volunteer to make and serve the evening meals, and there is a steady stream of donated items given to the shelter. The clients i have met seem very appreciative of the services provided and the opportunity to have their basic needs met while getting back on their feet. The shelter seems to always be running at full capacity so I look forward to when the new building is completed so they can expand the services that are offered.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to know about Central Iowa Shelter & Services when I worked for the local festival and events group. At the conclusion of one of our Festivals, we donated several items (food and t-shirts) that remained from our volunteer program. Today, I'm a proud member of the volunteer PR team and also donate clothing and other items for the residents on a regular basis. I am constantly learning about the wonderful things CISS is doing to help those in need and take pride in knowing that I am a (very) small part of that. The staff and volunteers who contribute to CISS' successes are a bright spot in our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Central Iowa Shelter & Services has an amazing set of services to offer and our community is proud to have CISS. I participate on the PR Committee, who provides a quarterly newsletter to donors and volunteers to keep them updated on progress, share the unique stories of the people who utilize the services at CISS, and extend gratitude to those who donate time or money to the shelter. Whether you have utilized the services yourself, volunteer, or donate, CISS stands out with an honorable reputation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at CISS for over a year now. I check clients into the shelter and see the people firsthand who are trying to put their lives back together. After living in Chicago for 20 years and recently moving back to Des Moines, I was incredibly impressed with the staff and services but saddened by the out of date facility. I believe the shelter needs the new facility to accomodate the growing problem of homelessness in our city. The team of professionals and volunteers who provide the meals are terrific and very dedicated. Without these amazing people, the shelter would not be able to survive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CISS is amazing. The have a food rescue network all over town... they have a garden and are expanding... they have a nutritious 2-week menu designed by ISU dieticians they share with volunteer groups... they partner with other shelters (youth, etc.) in the area... they offer professional development and job placement assistance for the needy... and they just CARE... Keep up the great work !!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Central Iowa Shelter & Services plays a crucial role in getting homeless adults off the street and on the path toward self-sufficiency. It is a careful steward of public and private funds, and annually serves with a limited budget thousands of people through leveraging a strong volunteer force and careful expenditures. The shelter is in the process of constructing a new building, which will enable better service to more individuals in the years ahead.