New Directions Shelter
New Directions Shelter provides free, temporary, emergency shelter and services for families with children experiencing homelessness. We help families get a new start through professional case management, counseling, and advocacy.
Our case management staff assists our clients with resume development, completing job applications, finding employment, attending job fairs and job interviews, obtaining job training, and acquiring affordable childcare. Our services also include helping clients obtain needed documentation such as social security cards and birth certificates, and assisting them with obtaining FIP, SSI and food stamps if qualified.
New Directions is one of only three homeless shelters available for families in the Des Moines metro area. The shelter provides eight private bedrooms, balanced meals, and laundry facilities.
We offer a hospitable atmosphere emphasizing dignity and respect for others. We encourage positive change and provide the emotional and physical space necessary to make responsible, informed decisions for securing housing for their families.
Exited to permanent housing
Average increase in income
Tasha and Jake’s family entered New Directions Shelter near the end of June 2022 after the house they were renting went into foreclosure. Because Tasha and Jake have 6 children, they were unable to secure affordable housing to meet their family’s needs and ended up homeless.
Due to size limitations of their room at the shelter they were not able to always have all 6 kids with them in the shelter. Oftentimes, the older kids would stay with friends and family, while the 3 youngest remained in shelter with mom and dad.
The family needing such a large unit was the biggest barrier this family faced in terms of obtaining housing. Even with Jake working full time through a painting business the cost of housing was too much. Thankfully at the end of July, the family was referred to a housing program that would help cover the cost of their rent and provide them the opportunity to become permanently housed and reach self-sufficiency.
In addition to the search for housing, case managers helped support the family in a variety of ways. They helped navigate resources to cover back utility bills, they coordinated services to ensure the kids would be able to have birthday celebrations during their stay in shelter, and they helped get the youngest child enrolled in pre-school while also supporting school attendance for the older children. The staff also worked hard to ensure the family benefited from the everyday stability that the shelter can provide. A clean space, basic necessities, extra support, listening ears, and a routine.
Even with the housing assistance, the family continued to struggle to find a home. There is very little supply of affordable 4 bedrooms in our community but having a house for all 8 members was non-negotiable. Tasha and Jake continued to work alongside their case managers to secure housing. After months of searching, they were finally approved for a home in September and were told it would be ready in October. This timeline changed several times, and the family was becoming discouraged.
A final move-in date of November 18, 2022 was given to the family. Tasha and Jake along with staff waited nervously to see if this date would stick. It did! The family was able to move into their new home on November 18th, a home that will accommodate and welcome the whole family and just in time for the upcoming holidays! New Directions Shelter strives to meet families where they are at in their lives and offer them the individualized support that their family needs to gain permanent housing.