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Community Action of Southeast Iowa assistance programs.

The Community Action of Southeast Iowa will help families apply for programs that are mostly funded by the state or federal government. Some examples of the services include Head Start, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and weatherization. This will also be combined with case management to help the client overcome their hardship. Services are available across Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa Counties.

Self-sufficiency programs

The FaDSS, which is also known as Family Development and Self-Sufficiency, can help people overcome any hardship they are facing. It will end help families gain independence from the need for Family Independence Program (FIP) benefits and become self-sufficient so that they can build a brighter future for their family and themselves.

FaDSS was created to be a voluntary, in-home program that pairs each people with an FaDSS Specialist from the Community Action of Southeast Iowa. They will hold monthly sessions to identify strengths, barriers, and areas that can be improved.

The client and then specialist will then use that information as a basis for setting goals and developing a plan for reaching them. Participants benefit in numerous ways, including gaining the confidence and skills needed to maintain a positive financial condition. It will end the reliance on FIP assistance.

It will also give the person the ability to set goals and make plans and the ability to advocate for themselves. In times when the person does need help, they will also know where to turn for emergency financial assistance in Des Moines without returning to a dependency on public assistance.

Head Start is a free child development program serving preschool-age children and their families across the region, including Des Moines County and Henry. The non-profit will believe that parents know their children best and are their child’s most important teachers. Accordingly, the staff that take part in Head Start guide families as their children develop. They will, among other things, provide assistance with setting and achieving goals.




Financial aid and grants from Community Action of Southeast Iowa

LIHEAP - Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program pays a portion of winter season primary home heating costs for qualifying homeowners and renters in Des Moines and counties such as Lee. Eligibility for a grant is based on family size, type of fuel used, household income and type of dwelling. Contact a local neighborhood center for an appointment or to learn more about LIHEAP.

When the person will come in for an appointment, please bring One recent heating bill (must match residence address), Proof of income for all adults in the household, and Birthdates for all household members. Wage Earners need to bring the staff of Community Action of Southeast a copy of check stubs. More information on Iowa LIHEAP program.

Using federal, state of Iowa, and local funding, Community Action’s Weatherization Program provides home energy-saving measures for low-income residents of the service area of Henry, Lee, Des Moines and Louisa. The program also offers suggestions and tips on saving energy.

Available services vary according to area, cost limits, or funding availability that is set by each source. For example, utility companies in certain areas of Southeast Iowa will pay for installation of energy saving devices, such as low-flow shower heads, water heater covers, and high-efficiency light bulbs.

Other Weatherization services from Community Action of Southeast Iowa may include Cleaning and tuning gas furnaces, Insulation of attic, sidewalls, joists, and crawlspaces, Weatherstripping and caulking of doors and windows, Minor foundation repairs, and Venting in attics.

While most of the doctors in Iowa are aware of Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs operated by many drug companies to help patients who can’t afford their prescription drugs, many people know that it takes a great deal of time to complete and send in all the necessary paperwork for free or reduced medications.





Most doctors’ staffs do not have the time to accomplish this task, but Community Action of Southeast Iowa can help on this process. The agency has partnered with pharmacists,  local doctors and social workers to establish the Medication Assistance Program. This was created to be a single centralized service that helps to complete the exorbitant amount of paperwork involved. They also have medical advocates on site to help with the process.

The staff from the agency put in at least thirty hours per week at the Community Action Center in Burlington. The non-profit will be taking referrals from doctors, contacting patients, obtaining necessary forms, and assisting income qualified patients as they fill out the applications. The prescribing physician signs the completed forms, which are then submitted to the correct company, and the medications are sent directly to the patient or to the doctor in Des Monies.

Regional community action locations in SE Iowa

A few offices and counties are supported as indicated below. There are grants for low income families, low cost housing, job placement services and more.

  • Lee County - Eichacker Center, 3433 Avenue O, Fort Madison, IA 52627, dial 319-372-4471
  • Richardson Head Start/Early Head Start center is at 1020 34th St., Fort Madison IA 52627, telephone 319-372-5462
  • Keokuk Head Start/Early Head Start location is at 210 South 22nd St., Keokuk IA 52632, 319-524-6383
  • Des Moines County - 509 Melrose, Burlington IA 52601, phone 319-752-5692
  • Another office is at 611 Columbia, Burlington IA 52601, phone 319-753-0814
  • Henry County office is at 1303 W. Washington, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641, dial 319-385-4523
  • Another site of Community Action of Southeast Iowa is at 2850 Mt. Pleasant St., Ste. 108, Burlington, IA 52601. Call 319-753-0193 for intake.

By Jon McNamara











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