Community Foundation Provides $180,000 in Leadership Grants to Local Nonprofits

Jun. 1, 2022 null

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has awarded $100,000 to WesleyLife Community Services and $80,000 to Iowa Homeless Youth Centers through Leadership Grants made possible by the Better Together Fund. Through strategic Leadership Grants, the Community Foundation supports projects that create “tidal waves” of impact around community needs by providing nimble funding and centering grant awards around equity. Donors to the Better Together Fund give to support community needs now and into the future as identified through the Community Foundation’s grantmaking process facilitated by the organization’s expert staff, Grantmaking Committee and board of directors.

WesleyLife – Meals on Wheels Expansion 

A $100,000 Leadership Grant will support the creation of a new community kitchen and café for WesleyLife through the renovation of the former Drake University Education Program Building on University Avenue. The new location and facility will house the Meals on Wheels program and allow it to serve approximately 700,000 meals annually, tripling the current capacity limits and allowing the program to serve more people in Greater Des Moines. 

“Food insecure older adults and veterans are some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We are so humbled by the commitment from the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, which will help triple our capacity to personally check-in on, and provide a meal to, those who need it most,” shares Hans Hoeksema, director of philanthropy projects for WesleyLife. “This commitment helps ensure our volunteer drivers will continue to be a lifeline for them and many others for generations to come.”

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) – 6th Avenue Flats Mental Health Services

An $80,000 Leadership Grant will support IHYC in providing on-site behavioral health outpatient therapy at the 6th Avenue Flats affordable housing complex being developed in the Riverbend Neighborhood.  A portion of the 42 apartments being created will be permanent housing options for youth who have experienced homelessness or aged out of foster care. The Leadership Grant funding will support two on-site therapists to serve clients living in and near the 6th Avenue Flats. This integrated approach to embedding mental health support into an affordable housing setting is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Central Iowa.  

“The 6th Avenue Flats, an affordable housing and supportive service project, is going to transform the way we as a community deliver mental health services to individuals in need of support,” shares IHYC Director Toby O’Berry.  “This project is innovative in its design, as we are embedding therapy services in an affordable housing initiative that the entire community can access as needed. Without the support of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Leadership Grant, this project would not be possible.”