About Us - Program Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the DMIHN is "To mobilize our community to help homeless families achieve stable housing and income through compassionate care, hospitality and professional support."

Program Overview

In October of 2004, the DMIHN first began providing shelter, meals and case management services to families with children experiencing homelessness in Polk County. Family composition can include two parents, single female head of household or single male head of household. The DMIHN is one of only two family shelters in Des Moines with the capacity to serve families with a single male head of household, two parent families as well as multigenerational families. Initial length of stay is 30 days, but a family may stay for up to 90 days.

The DMIHN assists homeless families with children through a network of 12 religious congregations that provide clean, safe overnight shelter and nutritious meals for a period of one week every three months. The host congregations provide each family with a private room for sleeping as well as supper and breakfast on-site, and food for packing a sack lunch each day. Guests are provided a safe, secure place during the day at our Day Center which is located at Westminster Presbyterian Church. At the Day Center, guest have access to showers and laundry facilities as well as a telephone with answering machine, daily newspaper and the Internet to assist in their employment and housing searches.

The Des Moines Area Interfaith Hospitality Network is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State.  Additionally, the DMIHN is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt, nonprofit corporation as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. 


Services offered to guest families include:

  • Case Management
  • Health Care Assessment and Referral
  • Child Care/Removal of Barriers to School Enrollment and Attendance
  • Employment and Housing Search
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Furniture Assistance
  • Aftercare Services

Affiliation with Family Promise

The DMIHN is an affiliate of Family Promise. Family Promise is a nonprofit corporation based in Summit, New Jersey. In 1986, the current director of Family Promise, Karen Olson, was moved to begin operating the first Interfaith Hospitality Network, located in Union County, NJ, following her interactions with homeless people while distributing food with her two sons. In 1989, Family Promise (formerly, the National Interfaith Hospitality Network) was founded on the belief that Americans are compassionate people who want to make a difference, and with the commitment to link those in need with those who want to help.

Family Promise provides assistance to religious and other community groups in developing, implementing, and maintaining network programs for families experiencing homelessness. While an affiliate, the DMIHN is autonomous and is responsible for the management of its programs, and for its financial, fundraising, legal and other affairs.

Currently, there are 135 Family Promise affiliates operating 146 networks in 39 states. Programming ranges from shelter and meals, to housing, child care, and/or job placement support.



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Become a Host or Support Congregation

Host congregations provide homeless families a clean, safe overnight shelter and nutritious meals for one week every three months.

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