The Home Connection
The Home Connection program provides supportive housing for families with children experiencing homelessness. The Home Connection’s goal is to move families from homelessness to permanent housing with an emphasis on financial independence.
The Home Connection is the only housing program with 20 single family homes, 3 duplexes, and a 3-plex located in various neighborhoods in Des Moines. We aim to provide as much normalcy as possible for the families we serve.
Our case management staff works with families to identify the causes of their homelessness and develop a plan, with goals, to remedy causes and attain financial independence within approximately two to four years.
To be eligible for this program, at least one adult must be working or actively looking for employment. Parents must also be involved in their children’s education and development, and volunteer in the community.
Adults are employed
Exited to permanent housing
Average increase in income
Casey came to Des Moines after he gained custody of his two children wanting to find more resources for him and his children. The family was experiencing homelessness and needed a helping hand to find housing and employment, so they came to New Directions Shelter hoping to get the assistance and resources needed to have housing.
Once at the shelter, Casey was able to obtain employment, even though he lacked a high school diploma and had a criminal background. However, the family could not afford suitable housing and the associated costs like utilities. After becoming employed, Casey became eligible for our The Home Connection program which allowed him to afford a home for himself and his children.
Once the family moved into their Home Connection home, Casey then started working on his HiSET (a high school equivalency test) which he completed within a year. This allowed him to enroll in DMACC and start working towards an Associates Degree.
Another challenge for the family was the lack of their own vehicle. Casey used public transportation but relying on a bus was very challenging, especially with two children. For recognition of his hard work towards self-sufficiency, his Home Connection case manager nominated him for an award through Hope for Stable Families, which is a United Way sponsored program. Through this program, some donors provide financial assistance. In this case, the donors purchased a vehicle for Casey.
Access to a reliable vehicle has alleviated so many barriers for Casey. Taking the children to school activities, going to the grocery store, and getting to work became so much easier for the family. Their road to financial independence has become much smoother!