Iowa Resources

To find out about key benefits and services in Iowa and how to apply, select from the topics below.

Key State Contacts

  • State Refugee Health Coordinator

Christine Ross

Send an email

State Website

Call (515)423-3794

  • State Refugee Health Assessment Coordinator

Jill Schacherer

Send an email

State Website

Call (515)322-0037

  • State Refugee Coordinator

San Wong (Interim SRC)

Send an email

State-based PSOs

Cash & Food Assistance

Cash assistance available to residents who enters the US under humanitarian protection with low incomes

Contact the Bureau of Refugee Services at 515-344-3675

Federal nutrition plan

Cash assistance designed to help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency

A program offering supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information to low-income women who are pregnant or have children aged birth to five

A federal program supporting participants to attain self-sufficiency within 240 days (8 months) of arrival in the United States through financial, case management and employment supports

A program that provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits. SSI payments are also made to people age 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications.

Refugee & Newcomer Health

The domestic medical screening is a comprehensive medical examination that screens for a wide range of infectious diseases and non-communicable conditions.

Federally funded nonprofit health centers or clinics that serve medically underserved areas and populations. Federally qualified health centers provide primary care services regardless of your ability to pay

Accessing Healthcare

To apply for Iowa Medicaid health coverage, please visit the HHS Benefits Portal or fill out a paper application form and turn it into your local HHS office

Eligibility Refugees who qualify for Medicare and need coverage while their applications are processed (2-3 months), refugees who have Medicaid/IHAWP and lose coverage within eight months of their arrival due to their income exceeding requirements RMA coverage ends eight months after arrival to the country. The first month of coverage begins regardless of if a refugee arrives on the first or last day of that month, and coverage will continue for seven additional months after month one

Persons with Disabilities

The Office of Deaf Services provides a key link to services that help deaf and hard of hearing people succeed, including health, education, employment and justice

Iowa Department for the Blind
Empowering blind Iowans to be gainfully employed and live independently.


Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. You’re first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65

Call (1-800-633-4227)

Empowering blind Iowans to be gainfully employed
and live independently. HHS provides support and services to Iowans aged 60 years and older
We also help people in this age group with more specific social and economic needs
We work to empower older adults to maintain their independence.
We advocate on behalf of older Iowans to ensure their rights, safety, and well-being
Aging and senior care services serve Iowans aged 60 years and older
We also help people with more specific social and economic needs

Call (515) 725-3333

The Social Security program in the United States provides protection against the loss of earnings due to retirement, death, or disability

Children's Health

Early intervention services for infants and toddlers at risk for developmental delays

The University of Iowa is dedicated to providing high quality mental health services and resources to students, faculty, staff, their families, and the community

“CYSHCN are children who have or are at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions. They also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.” source: HRSA Maternal and Child Health Programs and Information for children with special needs

Orchard Place now helps many of the state’s most vulnerable children, striving to help them develop strong, promising futures. Through our three branches of service, we contribute to the community’s well-being by serving the mental health, substance use, behavioral support and educational needs of these youth

Dental Health

The University of Iowa academic health campus, dental clinics have more than 170,000 patients visits per year. The college also has 26 community programs focused on children, patients with special needs, and seniors, including an award-winning Geriatrics Mobile Dental Unit. Our dental clinics are an essential resource to the state helping people and communities meet their dental care needs

Assistance with Housing Costs

  • Emergency Assistance

HUD Rental Resources

Call 515-281-4893

Helping residents maintain housing stability

CALL 211 (24/7) To speak to speak to Community Resource Specialist

Housing Counseling

HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country to provide free or low-cost advice

Call (800) 569-4287

Renter Rights

Provides legal advice on renters rights

Call 800-532-1275

Homelessness Prevention and Assistance

Assists you in finding homelessness resources nearest you

Call 1-833-739-0065


Community Orientation Providers

Address: 3116 University Ave. Des Moines IA 50311

Call (515) 271-7411

Address: 1308 Cleveland St. Sioux city IA 51106

Call (712) 255-2505

Address: 1200 University Ave #205

Call (515) 528-7525

Address; 108 3rd St. Suite 200 Des Moine, IA 50309

Call (515) 216 – 3619

Address: 250 E Court St Iowa City, IA, 52240

Address: 601 Grand Ave Des Moines IA, 50309

Call (515) 244 – 3761

Address: 1220 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids IA, 52403

Call (319) 363 – 4993

Address: 900 Jennings St. Sioux City IA 51105

Call (712) 258- 5137

Address: Council Bluffs, IA, 51503

Call (712) 242 – 1040

Address: 210 Emerson Place Suite 300 Devenport IA 52801

Send an email

Address: 904 W 4th Street Waterloo, IA 50702

Call (316) 233-3579

Call the Resettlement Agencies above close to your residence

Employment Services through the Resettlement Network

The Matching Grant program helps refugees and other ORR-eligible populations overcome barriers and quickly find jobs. The intent is for refugees to become economically self-sufficient through employment within 240 days and without accessing cash assistance programs


Other employment services

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy

The high school equivalency test gives students who left high school before graduating an opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)

Our Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs are aimed to provide workplace skills and adult basic education to English Language Learners and High School Completion students, so they can qualify for promotions or jobs in a high-demand industry

Looking for a rewarding career, but in need of additional training?
DMACC’s Workforce Training Academy (WTA) can help.
Classes and materials are FREE to qualified applicants

For job seekers, becoming a Registered Apprentice means you’re on the path to a rewarding career where you’ll earn a paycheck from day one – your chance to earn and learn. For businesses, starting a Registered Apprenticeship Program means you’ll build a talented workforce equipped with the skills that specifically fit your company

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) is an employment program for individuals who experience a disability

IWD has a number of programs, initiatives, and grants designed to remove barriers and provide Iowans with the right path for their employment destination

IowaWORKS is the first step toward your next career.
Locate your nearest office and talk to our career planners today

In partnership with Iowa Workforce Development, BRS partners with refugee communities, employers, community colleges, nonprofits and state and local agencies to create inclusive and sustainable career paths to help refugees become self-sufficient and work toward a high quality of life that fits with their goals and values

United Ways of Iowa is a membership association of local United Ways serving the state of Iowa. Our efforts focus on supporting the outstanding work of local United Ways across the state, and working as a network to further build upon our collective impact in Iowa



Information and resources about obtaining a driver’s license or state ID

Call (515-224-8725)

Provide Social Security Numbers and administer retirement, disability, survivor, and family benefits, and enroll individuals in Medicare

Call 1-866-968-7842


Begin learning English right away for FREE. Improve your English to get a job or a better job. Communicate better in English in your everyday life. Improve your English and later enroll in Credit ELL, HiSET, or a certificate program

Providing students whose first language is not English with high quality language instruction, as well as a cultural, social, and academic orientation to the United States


Iowa Childcare Resource & Referral provides resources, education and advocacy to support quality childcare. CCR&R is committed to ensure that Iowa’s vision is met

Early Childhood Education

Head Start is the nation’s premier provider of developmental and educational services to pregnant moms, babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their families, who live in poverty and struggle to meet the basic needs of life

Adult Education

The high school equivalency test gives students who left high school before graduating an opportunity to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED)

Welcome Corps

  • Fraud

To report cases of fraud (for example, individuals asking for money in exchange for becoming a private sponsor or to assist in submitting an application

Information for Refugees – Welcome Corps



State agency that oversees employment safety in Iowa

Public Safety

Oversees Public Safety for the State of Iowa

Violence and Human Trafficking and Exploitation

The Iowa Attorney General provides services to victims of crimes

State of Iowa’s office dedicated to understanding, identifying, and reporting human trafficking

Adult and Child Abuse

Child Protective Services

Directory of resources for victims of domestic violence

Adult Protective Services

Mental Health

Crisis Services for Mental Health and Disability Services