General Assistance


Des Moines County Community Services, in accordance with Iowa Code, chapter 252 and Chapter 255, provides assistance to the needy and poor people in need of immediate assistance or people who cannot obtain assistance from any other source. Assistance is provided to an individual that has income or benefits delayed from a state program or not actually received because of reasons not attributable to the person, and who does not have liquid assets to pay for the items of assistance that can be provided.

Categories of Assistance

There are different categories of individuals served in Des Moines County:

  1. Emergency assistance for the needy person
  2. Assistance for the poor person
  3. Assistance given in extraordinary circumstances, awaiting other assistance or income

Providing Assistance

Community Services provides assistance to people who need help with rent, utilities, limited medical care and prescriptions and cremation assistance. The program is designed to provide short-term emergency type assistance to persons lacking the resources to meet their basic needs for food, energy, shelter, and medical care. It is not intended to provide on-going, long term aid to any individual or family. Persons are also referred to other agencies for assistance with food and clothing.

Note:  Des Moines County General Assistance does not pay first month rent or deposits of any kind.

Applying for Assistance

To apply, an individual should call the office at 319-754-8556, ext. 2503 to schedule an appointment with Alana. Individuals will be asked to bring:

  • Proof of income
  • Iowa ID with Des Moines County address
  • Social Security card(s)
  • NOD from DHS
  • Registration at a Workforce Agency
  • Lease
  • Current bill(s)

At the time of the appointment, individuals will be requested to complete an application.  The following assistance application can be completed and returned to the the General Assistance Office:

General Assistance Application