Community Resources

At Samuelson Elementary School, one of our goals is to be a center for resources in our community to support our students and their families. Below you will find a variety of helpful resources.

  • Financial Assistance
  • Community Meals
  • Food Pantries and Community Gardens
  • Clothing
  • Health Care Resources
  • Out of School Time Youth Programming
  • Employment Assistance
  • ESL Classes
  • Helpful Hotlines
  • Emergency Shelters and Homeless Resources
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Pregnancy Support
  • Legal Services

School CNXT

Sign up for the CNXT application to keep up to date with Samuelson Elementary School events and resources:

Bilingual Family Liaisons

515-242-8472 (including Spanish, Burmese, Karen, Karenni, Swahili and other languages)

Financial Assistance

Polk County Department of Human Services | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-286-2088

  • Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm
  • Please complete the Polk County General Assistance Application before reaching out to other agencies. You will receive a “Notice of Decision.” If denied, other agencies may require this document before assisting you.

Proteus, Inc. | 3850 Merle Hay Road | 515-272-5303

  • Tuesdays 8:00am-4:30pm
  • Assists with emergency financial assistance to mainly non-English speaking families

Cross Ministries (located in Cottage Grove Church) | 1050 24th Street | 515-279-9998

  • Emergency Assistance; rent, deposit, or mortgage; electric/gas, water; personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies, laundry vouchers, and bus tokens. Call for assistance.

IMPACT Community Action Partnership | 3226 University Avenue | 515-518-4770

  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): provides a single payment towards winter heating bills to eligible households. Approval for the program establishes protection against disconnect between November and April. Applications taken November 1 – April 30
  • GRASP: If your household meets the established income guidelines, your income is verified, and you are a resident of the city of Des Moines, you qualify to receive discounts on swim lessons, tennis lessons, basketball and much more!
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP): Available to residents of Polk County (including the city of Des Moines) who are in need of assistance for up to 12 months. Must be able to demonstrate a COVID-19 related impact to household income. Must be past due on rent or utilities to qualify.
  • NEW – Embrace Iowa: This program, funded by the Des Moines Register, can provide up to $750 towards the purchase of appliances, car repairs, dental service, medication, and more. Those interested in applying may call IMPACT at (515) 518-4770 or visit for the mail-in application and more information.

Anawim Housing | 2024 Forest Avenue, Suite 101 | 515-244-8308

  • Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm
  • Provides Permanent Supportive Housing to individuals who have experienced homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, physical disabilities, diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, or who are fleeing domestic violence.
  • Call 515-809-1166 for all housing information.

Home, Inc. | 1618 6th Ave. | (515) 243-1277

  • Counseling and education to help people become successful homeowners or achieve permanent rental housing. Resources available on all things related to housing, including rental assistance.

Section 8/Public Housing, City of Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency | 2309 Euclid Ave. | 515-323-8950

  • Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Provides public housing rental unites for qualified families. Administers Section 8 rental assistance program for Polk County.

Child Care Assistance | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-725-2600

Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) | 3200 University Avenue | 515-271-7311

  • Individual Development Account (IDA) Program: Program that helps you save for a car, home, business, or education.
  • You can participate in this program if you: arrived in the U.S. with refugee status, have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years, have income, and are at or below 200 % poverty
  • To sign up for this program, you will need: a valid ID, I-94 or Green Card, and proof of income (one month of pays stubs for every working member of your family).
  • You will use a savings account to save money for a car, home, business, or education. LSI will contribute matching funds. LSI will give you a maximum of $2,000 for one person or $4,000 for a family.
  • You must complete all required trainings in order to receive matching funds.

Mediacom Connect2Compete | 1-855-904-2225

  • If your child qualifies for free or reduced lunches, you could qualify for discounted home internet.
  • Must have at least one K-12 student at home. Cannot be a current Mediacom customer.

Iowa Lifeline Phone Program | 1-877-565-4450

  • Financial assistance to low-income Iowa residents to afford telephone service.
  • Must be enrolled in a qualifying social service (Medicaid, SNAP benefits, TCA, SSI, Section 8, LIHEAP, free and reduced lunch) or be below 135% the federal poverty guidelines.

Iowa Credit Union Foundation | 1500 NW 118th St. | 800-860-6180

  • The Iowa Credit Union Foundation’s Individual Development Account Program (IDA) offers matched savings accounts for families with limited resources who meet income-based criteria. Similar to IDA Program at LSI, but no refugee status requirement.

Community Meals

Zion Lutheran Church | 4300 Beaver Avenue | 515-270-8142

  • Wednesday evening meals during school year
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Hope Ministries Café | 1310 6th Avenue | 515-244-5445

  • Monday-Saturday: Breakfast at 7:00am; Lunch at 12:00pm; Dinner at 5:00pm
  • Sunday meal hours: Breakfast at 8:00am; Lunch at 1:30pm; Dinner at 5:00pm

Creative Visions | 1343 13th Street | 515-244-4003

  • Sunday evening meals 5:00-7:00pm

Des Moines Public Schools

  • Breakfast & Lunch for individuals 18 & under – Summer only

Friendship Center | 1526 MLK Parkway | 515-244-1701

  • Breakfast 9:30-11:00am every Tuesday
  • Personal hygiene items also given out

Polk County Central Senior Center | 2008 Forest Avenue | 515-286-3677

Food Pantries and Community Gardens

Polk County River Place | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-286-3695

  • Once per calendar month: receive a four-day supply of food and other non-essential non-food items; bring photo ID for each individual in family; bread and produce daily
  • Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Thursdays – appt. scheduling starts at 8:00am for Financial Assistance.

Urbandale Food Pantry | 7611 Douglas Ave Ste. 34-35, Urbandale | 515-261-6688

  • Monday-Thursday 9:30am-6:30pm
  • Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

Beaverdale Farmers’ Market | 4100 Urbandale Avenue

  • 4:00-7:30pm every Tuesday from June 5 to Sept. 11

Woodlawn Community Garden | 3126 Twana Drive | 515-237-1386

Franklin Community Garden | 55th and Franklin | 515-248-6383

LSI Community Gardens | 515-271-7307

  • Sign up to receive weekly vegetables grown by former refugees in central iowa.
  • Drake Neighborhood Association Community Garden (Just South of the intersection of University Avenue and 27th St.)
  • Intentional Eucharistic Community Garden (3300 University Avenue)

LSI Global Greens Farmers Market | 3200 University Avenue

  • 9:00am-12:30pm May – October

Creative Visions | 1343 13th Street | 515-244-4003

  • Families can come once every 30 days
  • Monday-Thursday 9:00am-7:00pm
  • Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm

First Federated Church | 4801 Franklin Avenue | 515-255-2122

  • Tuesdays 9:00-11:00am

Reach Church (First Assembly of God) Food Pantry | 2725 Merle Hay Rd | 515-279-9766

  • Wednesdays 10:00am-12:00pm

IMPACT Community Action Partnership | 3226 University Avenue | 515-518-4770

  • One time per calendar month; every 7 days for emergency food; once a week for produce. Must call ahead to place an order.

Salvation Army | 1330 6th Avenue | 515-282-3422

  • Once a month; Bring ID for each individual in household
  • Other services: infant center; material assistance; adult rehab center

St. Vincent de Paul | 1426 6th Avenue | 515-282-8327

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00-6:00pm; Tuesday, Thursday 9:00am-4:00pm: food, clothing & personal hygiene. Call ahead to make an appointment.

DM Area Religious Council (DMARC)| 3816 36th Street | 515-277-6969


Dress for Success | 6000 Grand Ave | 515-288-0130

  • Offers a network of support, professional attire, and development tools for women.
  • Mondays 10:00am-1:00pm, 3:30pm-8:30pm; Tuesday-Thursday 9:30am-3:30pm

Salvation Army Family Store | 105 E. Euclid Ave | 515-243-0308

  • Monday-Saturday 10:00am-8:00pm

Des Moines Dream Kids Clothing Closet | 1031 23rd St | 515-288-3353

Zion Lutheran Church | 4300 Beaver Ave | 515-270-8142

  • Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10:00am-12:00pm.
  • Clothing for adults and children as well as bedding and some housewares.

St. Vincent DuPaul Thrift Store | 1426 6th Ave | 515-282-8328

  • Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm

Hope Ministries Thrift Store | 4640 Merle Hay Rd | 515-262-0876

  • Monday-Saturday 9:00am-7:00pm
  • Reasonably priced new and used clothing, shoes, furniture, and other household goods.

Central Iowa Shelter and Services Closing Closet | 1420 Mulberry St | 515-284-5719

  • Adult clothing for men and women as well as winter clothing. Open to anyone in need of clothes.
  • Call ahead at 515-564-5752

Highland Park Church Clothing Closet | 4260 NW 60th Dr. | 515-244-3182

  • Typically open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00am-11:00pm. Anyone is welcome.

Health Care Resources

Insurance Assistance:

Polk County Department of Human Services | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-286-2088

  • Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm
  • Please complete the Polk County General Assistance Application before reaching out to other agencies. You will receive a “Notice of Decision.” If denied, other agencies may require this document before assisting you.

Every Step | 1111 9th St. | 515-288-1516

  • Care and Support Services: assistance with pregnancy, parenting, development, insurance and more.
  • Call the intake hotline at 515-558-9946

Free or Low Cost Medical Clinics:


  • COVID-19 Testing at DMPS Sites Hoover High School and Kurtz Opportunity Center, Monday-Friday 6:30am-5:00pm; Saturday 8:00am-3:00pm
  • Make an appointment at:
  • Students should bring student IDs
  • No out-of-pocket costs but those with insurance should bring their insurance card

Creative Visions | 1343 13th Street | 515-244-4003

  • Walk-ins on Thursdays 10:00am-3:00pm

Grace United Methodist Church | 3700 Cottage Grove | 515-255-2131

  • Walk-ins on Tuesdays 5:00-7:00pm
  • Physical exams, acute illness or injury, chronic disease management, diabetes testing, medication assistance, referrals and more.
  • A free meal is also served during this time.

First Assembly of God | 2725 Merle Hay Road | 515-279-9766

  • Thursdays 6:00-8:00pm; Must be checked in by 7:30pm

Primary Healthcare | 1200 University Avenue (walk-in location) | 515-248-1500

  • A wide variety of medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS services, and homeless support
  • Interpreters onsite
  • West Side Medical Clinic also has walk-in hours available (7555 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, 515-225-7201)

Primary Healthcare School-Based Medical Clinics

  • Hoover High School 4800 NW Aurora Ave, Mondays and Thursdays 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Kurtz Opportunity Center 1000 Porter Ave, Wednesdays and Fridays 8:30am-12:30pm
  • Sports physicals, school physicals. All insurance accepted; sliding scale and set fee options available.
  • Call PHC to schedule and mention you would like to be seen at Kurtz or Hoover.
  • Dental Care: Nolden Gentry Dental

Out of School Time Youth Programming

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa | 9051 Swanson Blvd, Clive, IA 50325 | 515-288-9025

  • Community-based and school-based mentoring programs
  • After-school and Summer: Homework assistance and tutoring, technology centers, college/career prep, field trips, swimming lessons, mentoring, arts and crafts, music, athletics, etc.

Boys and Girls Club

  • Frank J. Ross Club (K-5th)
    Moore Elementary School | 3716 50th Street
    Kristina Cox, Program Specialist: 515-242-7651
  • Meredith Club (6th-12th)
    Meredith Middle School | 4827 Madison Ave.
    Tyler Von Seggern, Unit Director: 515-262-5695

Willkie House | 900 17th St | 515-243-7817

  • Works in cooperation with schools to provided academic instruction and assistance. Snacks and dinner provided. Other indoor and outdoor activities available.

Freedom for Youth | 2301 Hickman Road | 515-282-4822

  • The following after-school programs are offered for K-12th grade students: Whiz Kidz (elementary); Discovery (middle school); Journey (high school)
  • Transitional Housing for youth ages 18-21

Metro Kids | Samuelson Elementary | 3929 Bel Aire Road | 515-447-8772

  • Metro Kids is a fee-based before and after-school childcare program available in elementary schools on school days. All kindergarten-5th grade students are eligible.
  • Program hours areschool dismissal-6:00pm. On non-school days, all-day child-care services are available at select regional sites.

Young Women’s Resource Center | 818 5th Avenue | 515-244-4901

  • 5th grade, Middle School, and High School programming for young girls/women

Boy Scouts Mid-Iowa Council

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Employment Assistance

Central Iowa Works | 1111 9th Street, Suite 260 | 515-243-2130

Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families | 1801 University Avenue, Unit 3 | 515-697-7700

  • Need 2 forms of ID and your Social Security Number

Goodwill Career Connection Center | Stoney Point Plaza – SE 14th , Ste. 2300 | 515-953-6456

  • Provides FREE services. Get help looking for work or advancing your career through: resume assistance, job search skills training, computer skills training, access to computers, internet, faxes, and other office equipment, application assistance, dress for success seminars, mock interviews, hiring Events and Career Fairs, Professional Development workshops, and LinkedIn and Advanced LinkedIn

ESL Classes

First Federated Church | 4801 Franklin Avenue

  • Contact Karen Kennedy at 515-778-9697
  • Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm
  • All levels are welcome; childcare is available

Forest Avenue Library | 1326 Forest Avenue | 515-283-4152

  • Tuesdays 12:30-1:30pm

Friendship Center | 1526 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway | 515-244-1701

  • Basic English: Mondays at 5:00pm
  • Childcare available

Lutheran Services of Iowa | 515-271-7335

  • The Refugee English and Acculturation Program (REAP) provides community-based English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help legal refugees overcome the language and cultural challenges they face after arriving in Iowa.

Trinity United Methodist Church | 1548 8th Street | 515-771-8656

  • ESL Classes offered twice weekly
  • Fee: $15 for book, but class is free
  • Childcare available for free

Zion Lutheran Church | 4300 Beaver Avenue | 515-270-8142

  • ESL classes
  • Mizo and Swahili services
  • Other services:
    • Clothing Closet (10-12 M-F), bedding, Dental Clinic Ministry (Wednesdays 5:30-7:30pm, ages 3-18), Community Gardens, Wednesday evening meals, job assistance (Wednesday evenings 5:30-7:30pm), Sunday morning breakfasts, bread and furniture, etc.; transportation assistance

Helpful Hotlines

Drug and Alcohol Help Line | 1-866-242-4111

Iowa Coalition against Domestic Violence | 1-800-942-0333 | 24 hour statewide hotline

Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline | 1-800-284-7821

  • The Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline is a 24-hour line providing support, information and referral services to survivors of sexual abuse, significant others, people concerned about sexual abuse and people seeking information and referral. All services are free of charge, confidential and available to women, men and children.

Mental Health Mobile Crisis Response Team | Broadlawns Hospital, 1801 Hickman Rd. | Emergency: 911 | Non-Emergency: 515-283-4811

Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) | 515-235-8846

  • Provides care level of an inpatient psychiatric facility within the consumer’s home.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

United Way of Central Iowa | Call 2-1-1

  • Connects callers to support and assistance, including: rent assistance, food pantries, affordable housing, utility assistance, health and mental health resources, child care and after-school programs, elderly care, job training programs, legal services, crisis intervention, disability services, and volunteer opportunities.

Emergency Shelters and Homeless Resources

Central Iowa Shelter & Services | 1420 Mulberry St. | 515-284-5719

  • Central Iowa Shelter & Services’ Mission is to provide low-barrier shelter, meals and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency.

Primary Healthcare | Homeless Outreach: 515-248-1447

  • The Homeless Support team works with a network of area landlords to help place those needing housing.

St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter | 1535 11th Street | 515-282-1235

  • Only emergency shelter in Polk County where the entire family unit can stay together. St. Joseph’s provides safe, clean housing for homeless families for a limited stay.

Early Childhood Education

DMPS Preschool | 515-242-7588

  • DMPS Universal Preschool classes are held four days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • There are two options for length of day: Half-day preschool (no cost) and Full-day preschool (parent pay or 1 unit childcare assistance).
  • Some scholarships are available for the full-day Universal Preschool classrooms at McKee, Mitchell and Woodlawn.

Drake University Head Start & Early Head Start | 3206 University Avenue | 515-271-1854

  • School readiness programs, including meals
  • Locations and times vary; for kids birth to age 5
  • Family literacy programs
  • Medical, dental, nutrition, and social services

Grace Pre-School | 3700 Cottage Grove | 515-255-2131

  • Schedule a tour by contacting Kelly Donnelly – 515-279-5942
  • High-quality preschool; part-time or full-time child care
  • For children between the ages of 2 and 5; Project-Based Learning
  • Discounted pricing or free depending on income

Child Care Assistance | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-725-2600

Pregnancy Support

Agape Pregnancy Center | 2550 Martin Luther King | 515-255-0243

  • Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Must call first for assistance with clothing

Alpha Women’s Center | 3605 SE 14th St. | 515-285- 5700

  • FREE: pregnancy tests, maternity clothing, baby closet, and classes with videos & DVDs

Birthright | 5806 Hickman Rd. | 515-633-2133

  • Free diapers; Birthright services are always free, non-judgmental and confidential

Young Women’s Resource Center | 818 5th Avenue | 515-244-4901

  • Pregnancy and Birth Support Group: Wednesdays 5:30-7:30pm (any expecting mom up to age 21)
  • Support Group for young moms: Monday-Thursday 8:00am-5:00pm & Fridays 8:00am-12:00pm

VNS | 1111 9th St., Ste. 320 | 515-288-1516

  • Stork’s Nest and Family Nest serve the needs of at-risk pregnant and parenting women and their families by providing participants the opportunity to earn points for healthy behaviors. The points are then redeemed toward needed items, such as diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs and car seats. Family Nest participants may also redeem points for needed household supplies such as laundry detergent, pots and pans, and dishwashing detergent.

Legal Services

American Friends Service Committee | 4211 Grand Avenue

  • AFSC’s Iowa Immigrant Rights Program works with immigrants in Central Iowa to help build a sense of community so that new immigrants will be able to participate in the political processes in their communities.
  • Erica Johnson | 515-209-2733
  • Sandra Sanchez | 515-274-4854
  • Jody Mashek | 515-274-4851

Justice for Our Neighbors | 2024 Forest Avenue | 515-255-9809

  • Welcomes low-income immigrants of all faiths into our churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.

Iowa Legal Aid

  • Clinic hours at Monroe Elementary Tuesday 8:00am-4:00pm, Wednesday 1:30pm-5:00pm
  • Clinic hours at King Elementary Monday 1:00-5:30pm, Wednesday 7:30am-12:00pm
  • Walk-ins allowed; call each school ahead if possible.