Assistance from Embrace Iowa

A program in Iowa is providing relief to unemployed and underemployed families, as well as low to moderate income people in Iowa. Embrace Iowa is an assistance program that is offered by the The Des Moines Register and it is funded by contributions from a wide variety of sources. The assistance program provides cash grants to households that are experiencing an emergency or hardship and that need some type of short term financial help. It runs year round, and hundreds of families and individuals across Iowa benefit from it each year.

The Des Moines Register partners with the Iowa Community Action Association. The local, non-profit community action agencies distribute the funds to participants. In addition, Wells Fargo also contributes by donating the processing and banking needs for the Embrace Iowa program.

This year, most of the requests for assistance are for car repairs, rent,  beds, appliances and even mortgage payments. There has been about a 20 percent increase in the number of families who are asking for assistance this year according to the Iowa Community Action Association.

  • Some other examples of non-routine emergency expenses that are being requested include:
  • Medical bills, dental expenses, and other health care costs
  • Prescription medications, in particular to people facing a life threatening condition
  • Automobile repairs if you need the car for a job or medical appointment
  • Home repairs
  • Energy saving home improvements
  • Funds for helping to pay Child Care for those families that are not currently covered under the Iowa Crisis Child Care Program
  • Money to pay for heating emergencies and prevent a disconnection during the cold Iowa winter

The program also accepts donations from local businesses and residents, as there is a tremendous need for help in today’s weak economy.





If you are interested in applying for Embrace Iowa, or learning more, please contact your local community action agency. Any payments made will be issued directly to the vendor or company you owe money too. Only one application can be completed per household and for those who qualify a maximum amount of cash assistance will be issued.

A formal application process is in place and applicants will need to prove their hardship as well. Income limits will need to be met as well by those who apply. The amount paid out to each qualified applicant can change every year, but in the past Embrace Iowa would pay out a few hundred dollars to those who qualify for assistance. However any funding paid out will of course depend on available funding, the amount of donations made to the program as well as the qualifications of the applicant.

Embrace Iowa relies heavily on donations from the community. If you can contribute then please do so. The money you donate will go directly to helping the needy, many of whom are children or seniors, and not program administrative costs. Or if you benefit from the program the newspaper and community encourage people to write a note of thanks.





By Jon McNamara

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