About Iowa Homeless Youth Centers

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC)  Each year, the lives of over 600 homeless youth in Polk County are enabled through life-changing programs that build self-sufficiency skills.  IHYC helps homeless youth and families get back on track for living independently.  Each day, free-of-charge, youth in need can count on IHYC.

Street Outreach counselors provide information, referrals, crisis counseling, food and clothing to homeless youth. This critical outreach is provided through:

  • Drop-In Center at 701 Grand is open daily for classes, showers, laundry, nutritious meals, help with employment and counseling.

  • Reggie’s Place Coffee Shop at 701 Grand is a unique opportunity for homeless youth to gather for coffee, snacks and entertainment with access to counselors.

  • Outreach Van: Counselors travel the streets of Des Moines seven days a week, providing help and shelter to kids living on the street.

Buchanan Transitional Living Center is a co-ed facility for up to eight homeless youth, ages 16 – 22, for up to 18 months. Case managers work with each youth to develop educational, vocational and personal living goals, and 24 hour staff provide counseling, support, information and referrals. Because participants are required to save 60 percent of their earnings while living at IHYC centers, they are positioned to transition into self-sufficiency upon ‘graduating’ from the program.

Lighthouse Host Home houses pregnant and/or parenting homeless young women, ages 16 – 26, and their children for up to 24 months. In addition to developing educational, vocational and living skills, the program focuses on prenatal, post-natal and parenting issues. This host home makes it possible for young mothers to transition into permanent living situations that provide stability for their children and themselves by requiring them to create savings and helping them develop skills to secure employment and further their education.

Other IHYC Programs include the Family Futures program, which provides short term child care for homeless families while the parents secure employment and housing, and the Aftercare / PAL program, which provides case management services and financial assistance to youth aging out of foster care.

 To find out more, please visit IHYC's website, iowahomelessyouth.org