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.


Financial Assistance

Polk County Government | 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

Community Meals

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

  • Wednesday evening meals during school year

Health Insurance

DHS Carpenter Office | 1900 Carpenter Avenue | 515-286-3555

Polk County River Place | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-725-2600

Every Step Application Assistance | 1111 9th St. | 515-288-1516
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Children’s 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

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

  • 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 are Pending. On non-school days, all-day child-care services are available at regional sites.

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


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.

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Emergency Shelters

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.

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Medical Clinics


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

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

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

  • Walk-ins on Tuesdays 5:30-7:30pm

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

  • Thursdays 6:00-8:00pm; Must be checked in by 7:30pm
  • Also has a food pantry

Primary Healthcare | 1200 University Avenue

  • Community Health Center
  • Interpreters onsite
  • Medicaid help; pharmacy available but have to be seen by Primary Healthcare; case managers for HIV

Scavo Clinics – DMPS | 1800 Grand Avenue | 515-242-8488

    • Dental Care: Nolden Gentry Dental
    • Primary Healthcare Clinic will:
      • Treat illnesses; Conduct athletic physicals; Give immunizations
    • Also has a food pantry

Food Pantries

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;
  • Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm; bread and produce daily;
  • Thursdays – appt. scheduling starts at 8:00am for Financial Assistance.

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

Monroe Elementary School | 3015 Francis Avenue | 515-242-8373

    • Time Pending

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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
Complete and submit an application online at: OR download the application at and return to:

DHS Carpenter Office | 1900 Carpenter Avenue | 515-286-3555

Polk County River Place | 2309 Euclid Avenue | 515-725-2600