- 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:
Public Health information:
TestIowa COVID-19 testing
If you are uninsured and wish to apply for COVID-19 Testing medical coverage, complete an Application for COVID-19 Testing Coverage - (Solicitud de cobertura de la prueba para detectar el COVID-19). Only use this application if you do not have health coverage and wish to be tested for COVID-19. The health coverage you will get if you are found eligible using this application will only pay for medical tests for COVID-19. It will not help you pay for other medical costs, including doctor visits, hospital care, or prescriptions. To apply for full medical benefits, please visit dhsservices.iowa.gov.
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 click the link above to view our list of partner agencies and their websites.
Resources in Story County:
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 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.
Public WiFi is available outside of two locations in Ames- Ames Public Library and Furman Aquatic Center. Click here for details.
Collins Maxwell schools have funding available to help students with access to internet when remote learning is necessary, please contact your building principal if you are in need of a hotspot or, for those who qualify for free/reduced lunch, need increased bandwidth on your existing service.
The Ames Public Library has reopened. Please click the link above for guidelines. They have many online resources available as well.
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!
School Supply Assistance
Nevada schools- Contact Jodi Heeren at email@example.com. Please indicate how many in your family need supplies and which grades they are in. More details to come.
Ames schools- A "Drive and Go" event will be held on August 19th at the Ames Middle School from 12-4pm. There is no registration this year, it will be first come first serve and supplies will be limited. If you have questions or concerns, including transportation concerns, please contact Amber Franzeen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Candice Collins at email@example.com.
Virtual Learning Support Programs
ACPC has opened eight classrooms for full-day school-age programming to support families in this unique school year. Full-day programming will be available to children while school districts are in a hybrid instructional model and during full online learning. Teachers will provide additional activities each day and regular screen breaks. Visit www.acpc-childcare.org for info on updated policies and procedures related to the pandemic. To enroll, email Allison Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-233-2901.
Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm Grades: K - 5th grade Cost: $50 per day, sliding fee scales available to families who qualify. ACPC accepts Childcare Assistance through the State of Iowa as well as Child Care Aware assistance for military families.
BGCSC Day Club - operating beginning Monday, August 31 to provide affordable youth development programming and to assist children with access to and support with online school instruction. This will be offered while Ames Community School District operates in a hybrid instructional model and while at least an average of 40 children attend daily. Program policies and procedures are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation is fluid. Please visit https://www.bgcstorycounty.org/ames for more information.
Monday-Friday 7:30am-6:00pm - Grades: Priority given to age 6 - 5th grade, 6th grade and up as space is available Cost: $100 per week per member, non-refundable (lunch and snack included, discounts available, contact email@example.com)
Ames After School program - begins Monday, September 28 with transportation provided by school bus. After School program is included if you are registered for Day Club (above). Visit https://www.bgcstorycounty.org/school-year-nevada for information on After School Club in Nevada.
Monday-Friday 3:00pm-6:00pm Grades: Priority given to age 6 - 5th grade, 6th grade and up as space is available Cost: $25/week (snacks included, partial scholarships available)
Campfire - S.O.S. (Students Out of School)
Supplemental educational programs for students learning virtually. Parents will drop off at Camp Canwita and youth will be transported to Camp Hantesa. Highly trained staff will lead youth in all of their favorite games, crafts, and activities while balancing time spent on schoolwork and homework help.
Drop-off: 7:00-8:30am Pick-up: 4:30-5:30pm - Grades: K - 5th grade (snacks provided, bring non-refrigerated lunch) Cost: $50 per day per child (partial scholarships available, call (515) 274-1501) Register at https://www.campfireiowa.org/covid/sos/.
SUCCESS Gymnastics - Hybrid Learning Support Program
Program to SUCCESSfully support students in the following areas: Virtual learning and hybrid model approaches to instruction; Socialization and interaction with others of the same age group, and Health and well-being through physical activities, including gymnastics instruction, creativity with crafts and games.
Drop-off: 7:15am Pick-up: 5:15pm - Mondays only for September and October. You do not need to be a member of SUCCESS gymnastics to access this program. Cost: $55 per day per child Register at https://www.successgymnastics.net/
Iowa Workforce Development - temporary job openings
Iowa Workforce Development has partnered with Coursera to offer free online learning opportunities to Iowans during the pandemic. Coursera is an online learning platform with over 4,300 courses available from a variety of academic institutions and organizations worldwide. The online classes and certificate programs are available to Iowans at no cost if they register for and enroll in any of the courses by Sept. 20, 2020, and complete their courses by Dec. 31, 2020.
Emergency Financial Assistance
*Please note - several of our Story County emergency financial assistance providers are experiencing changes to their delivery.
**The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program has been extended. Please view more information here.**
NEW Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program, Iowa Finance Authority
This program opens late March 2021 and offer short-term relief to income-eligible renters who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure. Rental and utility assistance for multiple months. For more information, to sign up for updates, to do an eligibility precheck, or to apply, go to: www.iowahousingrecovery.com.
ACCESS (Assault Care Center) Financial Assistance
ACCESS can provide help with rent and utilities. To be eligible, you must be a survivor of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or violent crime. Call ACCESS' housing helpline (se habla espanol): 1-855-696-2980
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bridge Home
This resource is open to anyone needing assistance with housing. Special dollars are available to those affected by coronavirus. Please call 515-232-8075 or email email@example.com.
City of Ames
The City of Ames Housing Division will begin accepting applications on August 24 for a Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Relief Assistance Program. This program is for households of low-income impacted by loss of income due to COVID-19. For more details and to apply, visit www.cityofames.org/housing. To set up an appointment for assistance, email Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.
515-296-1449 / firstname.lastname@example.org - 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.
For any ISU students in need of assistance, the Student Services team would be happy to connect with you to discuss resources. Please email email@example.com.
MICA is accepting applications for the low-income home energy assistance program. This program will prevent shut-offs and also provide a one-time payment for utilities. 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.
515-663-2930 / firstname.lastname@example.org - Rent/utility assistance.
515-233-3567 / cari.mcpartland@USC.salvationarmy.org - Rent/utility/other emergency assistance. All assistance is by appointment only. Call to schedule phone interviews for homelessness prevention dollars.
515-292-3810 / email@example.com - Rent/utility assistance. Applications should be made by phone. If a client does not have internet access to email documentation, hard copies may be delivered to the Parish Office during regular office hours: 10:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. For information call 515-292-3810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Assistance for Evictions
If you are facing eviction, please contact:
- 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
- Iowa Legal Aid Hotline (free legal advice, Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm) 1-800-332-0419
- Financial assistance providers listed above for help with rent payments.
The federal legislation signed on December 27, 2020 extends the CDC Eviction Moratorium until January 31, 2021. That means landlords cannot evict tenants for non-payment of rent and, if a tenant has already been ordered to be evicted by the court, a covered tenant cannot be removed until after January 31. For more information on the moratorium, please visit: 2020 Coronavirus Outbreak: What you need to know | Iowa Legal Aid. You can also access the required paperwork here. For help with rent, please look through the resources below.
America Saves - resources on taxes, student loans, SNAP benefits, and more
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.
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.
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.
Alliant Energy is temporarily suspending disconnections and waiving late fees. If you or someone you know if having difficulty paying utility bills, visit alliantenergy.com/myaccount to set up a payment plan based on your abilities.
Story County has historically been one of the most food insecure counties in all of Iowa. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we know our local food insecurity will grow. In the link above 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.
Food options available for students and their families. Please view the link to see what your student could qualify for.
Information on SNAP/Food Assistance Benefits (last updated on 12/29/20, please check DHS website for newest information)
The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted multiple federal waivers to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to ensure continued expanded access to food. This federal waiver allows for continued increased benefits for current and newly eligible applicants. For more information on what that means for you, please view these FAQs on the DHS website.
DHS has increased SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount, suspended the food assistance work requirements, and added new online options at Amazon and Walmart for individuals using Food Assistance EBT cards.
Renewal deadlines have also been pushed back 6 months. All cases that were due for renewal between March and June were automatically given six more months of eligibility. New renewal forms will be mailed to you closer to your new renewal date.
NEW! Pandemic Food Assistance (P-EBT) benefits are being mailed to eligible households with children in Pre-K through grade 12 who lost access to Free and Reduced Price school meals during the 2020-21 school year due to pandemic-related school schedule changes and closures. If this applies to you, you will receive a card in the mail in a white envelope addressed to your child, with an Austin, Texas return address. Follow the instructions to activate your card.
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.
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 fruits, canned vegetables, and cheese. Click here for the Story County delivery schedule.
Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?
You may qualify if:
- You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
- The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.
Who cannot apply?
- A minor child cannot apply on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
- There are several categories of aliens lawfully present in the U.S. who are not eligible for FEMA’s Individual and Households Program assistance, including funeral assistance. These include, but are not limited to:
- Temporary tourist visa holders
- Foreign students
- Temporary work visa holders
- Habitual residents such as citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
How do I apply?
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time
Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.
If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.
No online applications will be accepted.
When you call, it should take about 20 minutes to apply. We will not rush through calls because we intend to make sure every applicant gets their questions answered and receives the help they need to apply.
It is important to gather all necessary information and documentation before applying for assistance. This will help us take the application and process it in a timely manner.
Once you have applied and are given an application number, you may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:
- Upload to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
- Fax documents: 855-261-3452.
- Mail documents: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
For more information visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.
Multi-lingual Hotline - 1-877-558-2609
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.
Esta lista incluye recursos para inmigrantes y otras personas internacionales 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!
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.
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 https://forms.gle/s3zG32cyx5bLs6Mf9.
Emergency Broadband Benefit
The FCC is rolling out a benefit program to assist households struggling to pay for Internet services during the pandemic. The program is now live, please view more general information here. Locally, Mediacom is participating in the EBB program, if you are a Mediacom customer, you could be eligible for up to $50 off your monthly bill, view more here.
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.
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 https://mediacomc2c.com/.
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.
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.
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.
When calling in your prescriptions, ask that the FamilyWize discount be applied by providing them the following information:
Card ID: FW100
Group ID: FW100
Registration is not required for this program so anyone can use it!
Statewide Crisis Line 24 hour services
Toll-free Crisis Line phone number: 855-581-8111
Live, online chat counseling, available at: yourlifeiowa.org
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) is offering free counseling to any Iowan who has been affected, in any way, by the COVID-19 public health emergency through COVID Recovery Iowa.
Counseling will take place via virtual sessions, chat or phone call.
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 www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org and complete a contact form and a counselor will get back to you.
United Way staff will update this as often as possible. If you have an update from your agency, please email Anneke Mundel.
24/7 Help Lines:
Sexual Abuse Helpline: 1-800-203-3488
Domestic Abuse Helpline: 1-855-983-4641
Emergency Housing Helpline: 1-855-696-2980
The Bridge Home (formerly ERP)
The shelter is no longer doing walk in applications for rent or utility assistance. Please call 515-232-8075 to request help.
All adolescent residential addiction treatment facilities in Ames are open and operating. 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.
Beginning July 15, fares will be charged and front doors can be utilized. Please wear a mask, limit conversations, and wash your hands.
HIRTA is charging standard rates. Effective 2/1/2021, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires proper wearing of face masks, per federal law, for those riding HIRTA vehicles. Face masks are to be worn at all times. Failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and may result in penalties. Buses are cleaned daily and deep-cleaned over-night. Buses are operating on reduced capacity, please social distance while riding.
Iowa Workforce Development announced two new unemployment benefit programs available to Iowans--Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and State Extended Benefits. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provides an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits to Iowans who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits. After their allotted weeks of regular state unemployment and the 13 weeks of PEUC are exhausted, unemployed workers will be eligible for State Extended Benefits. For more information, visit IWD's website and press release.
Want to help without leaving your house? Donate to our Response and Relief Fund. Select non-specified fund for general funding or LIVE UNITED Food Drive for pantry specific help.