COVID-19 Resources

Feel symptoms?

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of Breath

Call the McFarland nurse line at 515-500-6711 Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. After hours call 211 (partnering with IDPH), or, if necessary, 911.

Multi-lingual Hotline - 1-877-558-2609

Local clinic information:

McFarland Clinic

Mary Greeley Medical Center

Primary Health Care

Story County Medical

Public Health information:

Test Iowa

TestIowa is a new initiative in partnership with state leaders and private corporations. The goal is to dramatically increase the rate of COVID-19 testing so Iowans can have better access to testing and help stem the spread of COVID-19.

CDC Fact Sheets

Iowa COVID-19 information

Iowa Department of Public Health - resources for underserved populations 

Information available in other languages:

     Iowa Department of Human Rights Language Access

     Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa COVID-19 info

UWSC Partner Agency updates

Current updates from all 32 partner agencies

UWSC partner agencies provide critical support to Story County in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. Most are continuing to provide services to our neighbors. Please see the link above to learn of specific changes our partners have made to be able to continue to serve you.

A few of our partners are in need of supplies to serve their members:

Emergency Residence Project - 515-232-8075 - face masks, paper plates, microwaveable single serving meals, hand sanitizer, clorox type disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, bar soap, antiperspirant, baggies or Ziploc bags, Lysol like disinfectant sprays, disposable cleaning globes, all size trash bags, cash donations, grocery, gas, or restaurant gift cards

Mainstream Living - 515-232-8405 - surgical masks, disposable or hand-sewn

ACCESS - 515-292-0500 - disinfecting wipes and spray, paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, dishwasher tabs, laundry detergent, hand soap, hand sanitizer

Food pantry and meal site needs - Please call ahead if you have a large donation or would like to leave it at the pantry door. Alternately, you can donate cash to UWSC's Virtual Food Drive, funds going to pantries ASAP.

Child Care

Many Story County child care programs are now reopening after extended closures due to COVID-19. If you are still in need of child care United Way of Story County is working collaboratively to figure out childcare for emergency personnel (medical staff, first responders, and other essential staff). If you need care but are not considered an "essential" service, please check in with Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral below. They also provide Child Care Guidance in Response to COVID-19 which provides child care vacancies and closings, information on child care assistance payments, and much more.

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R)

Child Care Assistance application- Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to the children of income-eligible parents. Click the link to apply.

Call the CCR&R hotline at 855-244-5301 for help finding a child care provider.

Educational Resources

Ames Public Library

The library will be closed through June 30. While the building is closed to the public, Library staff members are providing services online, by phone, and now curbside! Curbside pick up is available for up to 20 items and appointments may go quickly. Sign up for an appointment here:

Any new patrons can sign up for a library card and will receive a temporary barcode. With the barcode you will be able to access streaming options and downloadables as well as their online resources while the library is closed. They have also temporarily increased the maximum number of checkouts for many of their streaming and downloadable services.

How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19

Story County Reads

Our local Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Story County Reads, will be posting tons of educational opportunities for families. Check back soon for ideas to keep your kids minds going!

Public WiFi is available outside of two locations in Ames- Ames Public Library and Furman Aquatic Center. Click here for details.

Financial Help


On May 27, the temporary emergency moratorium on evictions expired in Iowa. (Note: Individuals living in a federal "covered property" still have protections until July 25 under the federal CARES Act.) In person hearings on civil matters (including evictions) have been continued by the Iowa Supreme Court until at least July 13, 2020 or are to be held by video or teleconference at the discretion of the judge hearing the case. If you are facing eviction, please contact:

  1. Legal Aid Society of Story County, housed in Nevada (eviction and related landlord-tenant cases are being treated as "crisis" cases and will receive prompt assistance) 515-382-2471
  2. Iowa Legal Aid Hotline (free legal advice, Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm) 1-800-332-0419
  3. Financial assistance providers listed below for help with rent payments.

Legal Aid of Iowa's COVID-19 resources


Emergency Financial Assistance

*Please note - several of our Story County emergency financial assistance providers are experiencing changes to their delivery.

Christ Community Church

Rent and utility assistance when funds are available. Must be an Ames resident. Documents required: Rental assistance needs photo ID, lease/rental agreement with landlord's information. Utility assistance needs a utility bill. Call (515) 232-2765 or email

Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance 

515-296-1449 / - Rent/utility/gas/food vouchers available. Good Neighbor has made a decision to move applications for assistance from in person to phone and email applications at this time.  They prefer people call or email on Mondays and Thursdays, but will be monitoring email and taking calls any time they can. Food vouchers are being distributed for emergency use only at this time. Again, a phone or email application informs their decisions and pick up of the vouchers will be from a medically safe and secure location.

MICA- LiHEAP Program

Utility assistance - one time payment. LiHEAP funds are still available. The LiHEAP program regularly runs until the end of April but the state is extending the moratorium of protection to June 30. Families must apply and be approved. Assistance is by phone only, please call 515-956-3333.

St. Patrick's "Good Samaritan" Financial Assistance Program (Nevada, IA)

515-382-2974 - Rent/utility/gas assistance. This program is for residents of eastern Story County: Must live on east side of interstate (Cambridge, Collins, Colo, Fernald, Maxwell, McCallsburg, Nevada, Roland, Zearing). Provides rent and utility assistance every 6 months (up to $200). Provides gas assistance for work or medical appointments only every 3 months. Students are not eligible for the program. Assistance is currently by phone only, please call! Denials are not currently required; landlord and utility company information is still required for those requesting rent or utility assistance; driver's license is required for those requesting gas assistance.

Story County Community Services

515-663-2930 / - Rent/utility assistance. All County services will remain operational and available to the public either online or via phone or email. The Community Services office at 126 South Kellogg Ste 001 in Ames is closed to the public as of noon on March 18.

The Salvation Army

515-233-3567 / - Rent/utility/other emergency assistance. All assistance is by appointment only. Starting Monday, March 30 clients can call to schedule phone interviews for homelessness prevention dollars.

St. Thomas' "Love Your Neighbor" program

515-292-3810 / - Rent/utility assistance. Their office will be closed as of March 18. They will try to continue to serve "Love Your Neighbor" clients by phone, email, or mail. If a client does not have internet access to email documents, they have agreed to accept verbal documentation rather than hard copy documentation. Other than that, they are business as "unusual". Clients seeking rental assistance cannot be evicted by order of the Governor, but their overdue rent and any fees will continue to accumulate during the duration of the order. 


In addition to the usual providers of emergency basic services, the following organizations are offering financial support during this time:

Ames United Church of Christ

Funding available to help pay the bills (rent, utilities, medical) for those experiencing income or job loss due to COVID-19. The payee needs to be able to accept a credit card via phone or the internet. Contact Pr. Eileen Gebbie at either or 515-232-9323.

Financial Help for Immigrants

Please see below under International and Immigrant Help for resources and a link to apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Immigrants.

HealthWell Foundation

The HealthWell Foundation is providing up to $250 assistance to families, via phone applications only, with delivered food, medication, diagnostics, transportation, and telehealth as a result of COVID-19 risk or incidence. If you or anyone you know needs financial assistance for any of these supports, please call (800) 675-8416 or use the link above for more information.

Iowa State student financial assistance

If you were enrolled at Iowa State University for Spring 2020 or will be enrolled for Summer 2020, and have experienced a financial hardship due to campus disruptions related to COVID-19, you are eligible to apply for emergency funds. Further information and an application form are available here.


Money Management

America Saves - resources on taxes, student loans, SNAP benefits, and more

Concerned about how you are going to pay your bills? The best step you can take is to communicate soon with those you will be owing money to in the coming weeks. This would include landlords, and mortgage, utility, loan, and/or credit companies along with others you may owe money to. You may be able to work out a plan with each of them giving you the ability to make a partial payment or perhaps temporarily suspend payments with the promise of making them up later.

The key is to make sure to communicate with those expecting a payment before the payments are due in order to show good faith but also to find out what your options are for partial or delayed payments. In all cases do not make promises you can not keep. Document the agreements you have reached so that you don’t have to count on your memory at a later date. Finally, follow through on your promises.

Check the other resources on this page to see if there is a program that will either help with a critical bill or free up money so you can pay the critical bill such as utilizing a food pantry.

ISU Extension Family Finance Specialists

Family finance program specialists are providing free, one-on-one financial conversations. Financial educators are available to talk about options for revising a budget, prioritizing bills, paying down debt and connecting Iowans with community resources to stretch reduced incomes. Iowans can connect with a family finance specialist by phone or email. The conversations are free and confidential. Click the link above for more info.

Federal Student Loan Forbearance

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Click the link above to learn more.


Story County is the most food insecure county in all of Iowa. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we know our local food insecurity will grow. In the link below you can find information on a variety of food resources, including food pantries county-wide (and their changes during this time), school district food resources during COVID-19, and other food resources available to you. If you have any resources to add, updates, or questions, please contact Anneke Mundel, Community Impact Director at UWSC.

Story County food resources

United Way staff will keep this as up to date as possible.

Apply for SNAP Benefits

The Department of Human Services has increased the April and May SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount for current and newly eligible individuals, suspended the food assistance work requirements, and added new online options at Amazon and Walmart for individuals using their Food Assistance EBT card to purchase food. Read more here.

Apply for WIC

Struggling to provide healthy food for your young child during the COVID-19 crisis? The WIC Program aims to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. Most WIC programs are enrolling people by phone or online. Use the zip code locator linked above to find a phone number to call.

Apply for the Senior Supplemental Food Program - Commodity Boxes

The Senior Supplemental Food Program serves persons 60 years of age or older. This does not include disabled people under 60 years of age. A person must reside within the geographical boundaries of Polk, Warren, Jasper, Dallas, Story and Boone Counties. A person must meet the following income eligibility guidelines established by the USDA. Foods received monthly: shelf stable milk, non-fat dry milk, rice or pasta, ready-to-eat cereal, farina, or oatmeal, peanut butter or dry beans, canned meat or fish, bottled juices, canned fruites, canned vegetables, and cheese. Click here for the Story County delivery schedule.

International and Immigrant Help

Multi-lingual Hotline - 1-877-558-2609

Resources for Immigrants and Internationals

This list of resources for immigrants and other internationals provides resources (financial, ELL classes, COVID-19 information) in Story County, Iowa, and beyond. If you know of resources that should be included, please email Anneke Mundel. Please also be sure to check above under the Financial Assistance resources listed above.

Recursos para Inmigrantes y Personas Internacionales

Esta lista de recursos para inmigrantes y otras personas internacionales es actualmente en el proceso de desarrollo.  Favor de volver a visitarnos pronto, como seguiremos agregando recursos disponibles en el condado de Story, en Iowa, y en los alrededores.  Si usted conoce recursos que debemos incluir o si tiene preguntas, favor de mandar un email a Anneke Mundel. ¡Se habla español!

Application for Financial Help

Community partners have come together to set up a COVID-19 emergency fund specifically for Immigrants. Funding will provide emergency assistance for rent, utilities, gas, and other necessities like prescriptions. Please note, rent dollars will be provided directly to the landlord and utility payments will be provided directly to the utility company. 

To be eligible, you must: Live in Story County, be an immigrant, have an immediate expense that is past-due, due now, or due within the next 7 days.

Paper applications in both spanish and english are available at St. Cecilia's Narthex or Rosita's Mexican Store. You can also apply online with the link above.

Solicitud de Asistencia Financiera

Socios de la comunidad se han juntado para establecer un Fondo de Emergencia de COVID-19 para Inmigrantes. Financiamiento provee ayuda de emergencia para alquilar, servicios públicos, gasolina, y otras necesidades (recetas médicas, etc). Pago de alquilar estará mandodo directamente al dueño del domicilio y pagos de servicios públicos estarán mandados directamente a las compañias de servicios.

Para calificar para ayuda, usted debe: Vivir en el Condado de Story, ser inmigrante, tener gastos inmediatos (alquilar, sevicios públicos, gasolina, u otras necesidades básicas) los cuales están vencidos, vencen ahora, o vencen en los próximos 7 días.

Se puede encontrar solicitudes en papel en español e inglés en Narthex de St. Cecelia o en la Tienda Mexicana Rosita's. O, haga su solicitud online en


Keep America Connected Pledge

AT&T, CenturyLink, Mediacom, Sprint, T-Mobile, TracFone, Windstream, and more have each signed on to the FCC pledge to not terminate internet service due to inability to pay caused by the Coronavirus, to waive late fees, and to open up their WiFi hotspots if they have any. Click here for a full list of providers.

In addition:

T-Mobile: Suspending mobile data caps for 60 days, providing an extra 20GB of data for hotspot tethering, providing Lifeline customers with 5GB additional data, and providing additional data allowance to educational institutions.

Verizon: Tripling data limits for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools, donating $10 million to educational nonprofits, waiving late fees for residential and small business customers.


Mediacom offers a simple, affordable way to help students get quality home internet if one child in the household qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunch. Mediacom is currently offering free installation and free connections for two months, as well as temporarily removing data caps, for qualifying families who sign up by May 15. If plans are continued into the summer, it will go back to $10/month plus tax. You can find more information about this program at

Public WiFi spots available in Ames

Public WiFi is available at two locations in Ames, Furman Aquatic Center and the Ames Public Library, for students and others who need an Internet connection in the community. Click above for more details.

Job Openings

Iowa Workforce Development - temporary job openings

Lutheran Services in Iowa - full-time, part-time, occasional, and temporary positions available.

Mainstream Living

Legal Assistance

Free Iowa Hotline - 1-800-332-0419

Iowa Legal Aid, in partnership with the Iowa State Bar Association and Polk County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project, has set up a free hotline for Iowans who may be facing legal issues during the COVID-19 outbreak, including eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues, identity theft and more. To reach the hotline, call 1-800-332-0419 and leave a message. A representative will call you back to obtain more information and get you connected with an attorney. View information from Iowa Legal Aid here.

Legal Aid Society of Story County

Starting May 11, Legal Aid will provide virtual appointments for intakes from their waitlist. Rent/eviction cases will be given priority as these cases are on the rise due to the economic impact of COVID-19. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance regarding their rent payment, contact Legal Aid at (515) 382-2471.



DHS is waiving all co-pays, premiums, and contributions for Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP), Medicaid for Employed People with Disabilities (MEPD), Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (Hawki), and Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) members until the emergency declaration is lifted.

FamilyWize Prescription Savings

When calling in your prescriptions, ask that the FamilyWize discount be applied by providing them the following information:

BIN: 610194

Card ID: FW100

Group ID: FW100


Registration is not required for this program so anyone can use it!

Mental Health

Statewide Resources

Statewide Crisis Line 24 hour services
Toll-free Crisis Line phone number: 855-581-8111
Live, online chat counseling, available at:
Text support available by texting to: 855-895-8398

Iowa DHS launches COVID Recovery Iowa, free virtual counseling sessions for Iowans

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) received nearly $1 million in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer free counseling to any Iowan who has been affected, in any way, by the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program, called COVID Recovery Iowa, is now available.

Counseling will take place via virtual sessions, chat or phone call. People of all ages may join groups online to find support and learn new strategies to cope with the effects of the pandemic in a variety of creative ways.

Iowans can access services through the following options:

  • Call 800-447-1985 to connect with a counselor specializing in rural issues and agriculture 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Call the Iowa Warm Line, 844-775-9276, to connect with a peer counselor or request to get in touch with a COVID Recovery Iowa counselor.
  • Visit and complete a contact form and a counselor will get back to you.

Mental Health resource guide from National Alliance on Mental Health

Story County Mental Health Services

United Way staff will update this as often as possible. If you have an update from your agency, please email Anneke Mundel.

Shelter Updates


ACCESS is in need of supplies. View their list here. They are currently taking new clients as beds are available. They are striving to adapt as the situation continues.

Their 24/7 Help Lines will continue to be accessible: 

Sexual Abuse Helpline: 1-800-203-3488

Domestic Abuse Helpline: 1-855-983-4641

Emergency Housing Helpline: 1-855-696-2980

Emergency Residence Project

Emergency Residence Project is in need of supplies. View their list here. The shelter is no longer doing walk in applications for rent or utility assistance. Please call 515-232-8075 to request help. Shelter residents are being housed in a local motel currently. Staff have been working remotely but are anticipated to return to the office around Memorial Day. Only staff and current shelter residents are being allowed in the building until further notice.


YSS Transitional Living Program is still doing intakes and housing clients. Assessments are being done remotely, however intakes must be done in person, so staff are wearing masks and are working to provide masks for all future clients. Once someone is housed, they are utilizing technology whenever possible to meet with clients to limit face to face contact. Staff are still available to get clients to food pantries and other essential locations on a limited basis. 

YSS Rosedale Shelter - shelter is open but closed to all visitors. New protocols around cleaning have been initiated including wiping down common surgaces every hour. Staff and clients must have their temperature taken daily and do their best to maintain social distancing. Staff continue to update their protocols as recommended by IDPH, DHS/JCS, and YSS leadership. If you need emergency assistance, please call 515-233-3330. Line is answered 24/7.

All adolescent residential addiction treatment facilities in Ames are open and operating. Protocols are in place to safeguard against spreading the virus including regular cleaning, mandatory quarantine periods prior to admission, and virtual counseling and group appointments. The facilities are closed to visitors except for parents/guardians. Visitation rooms are thoroughly cleaned between visits and masks must be worn. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment, please contact Mark at 515-233-4930.


Need help getting supplies to your home?

For individuals 60+, Heartland Senior Services is offering assistance with medication and grocery pick-up/delivery. To access this assistance, please call 515-233-2906.

For individuals under 60 who need assistance, please post in this Facebook group: Ames Area Community Support for COVID-19 or call United Way of Story County at 515-268-5142 to get connected with volunteers from local service clubs who are willing/ready to assist you.


CVS is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions. Call 515-292-2990.

Hy-Vee Clinic pharmacy is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions in Ames for those who can't get out due to health concerns. Call 515-233-7315.

NuCara is offering FREE delivery of prescriptions through the end of May. Call your location to set up delivery.

Walgreens is offering FREE delivery of all prescriptions. Call 515-232-8284.



CyRide is offering free rides for all fixed route and Dial-A-Ride services. Please use the back door to board unless you need the lift.


HIRTA is offering free transportation for counties it serves. They ask that trips be essential trips for passengers. They will continue to provide door to door service, however the driver will not enter buildings or facilities. Arrangements will need to be made for those who need assistance beyond the door. If someone is sick they will need to wear a mask while riding HIRTA vehicles. If you ride and then test positive for COVID-19, please notify HIRTA immediately so the vehicle can be pulled from service and thoroughly cleaned and their staff can take the necessary precations.

Central Iowa RSVP Volunteer Driver Program

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020 Central Iowa RSVP is suspending the Volunteer Driver Transportation Program until further notice.


Iowa Workforce Development

Governor Reynolds issued unemployment benefits related to COVID-19 to delay the spread of the virus. If you are laid off due to COVID-19 or have to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, you can receive unemployment benefits, provided you meet all other eligibility requirements. Call 1-866-239-0843 or click the Iowa Workforce Development link above.

United Way of Story County social media

Follow our Facebook page for other community resources like utility bill help, free educational resources, restaurants offering delivery, etc.


Volunteer Center of Story County

Email Anne Owens or call 515-268-5323. If you are an agency looking to list an opportunity, select COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities as the Initiative and COVID-19 Story County as the cluster when posting to the Get Connected page.


Click above to view the many events and opportunities provided by Iowa State's GivePulse platform.

Boone and Greene County

Michelle at RSVP can be contacted at 515-433-7836.

Other helpful information

Ames Chamber business updates

Iowa Updated Tax Deadlines

DONATE to our COVID-19 emergency fund

Want to help without leaving your house? Donate to our Emergency Community Fund. Select non-specified fund for general funding or LIVE UNITED Food Drive for pantry specific help.


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