UWSC partner agencies provide critical support to Story County in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. Please click the link above to view our list of partner agencies and their websites.
Resources in Story County:
211 is a FREE national helpline to connect you with resources, including resources right here in Story County. Call 211 any time to be connected with a knowledgeable specialist. You can also text 898211 for help (start by texting your zip code) or visit www.211iowa.org.
Below you will find a list of some of the resources in Story County. Please note, however, that 211 is your most accurate, complete, and current source of resource information.
If you are in need of childcare, we suggest you check in with Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral below. Child Care Guidance in Response to COVID-19
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.
Our local Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Story County Reads, has loads of information on local educational programs, resources, and more! Follow their Facebook page! or visit their website at www.uwstory.org/story-county-reads. Have questions? Reach out to Andy Fish, Associate Director of Community Impact (Education), at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Supply Assistance
School supply distribution happens late summer every year through a community initiative called "Blast Back to School". United Way is happy to serve as the fiscal agent for this work.
Check in with your guidance counselor or school social workers for more information or if you are in need of supplies during the school year.
Several resources exist to support you:
IowaWorks office in Ames
903 Lincoln Way. Phone: 515-725-5495. Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DMACC Workforce Training Academy
Contact Vonda Junck at DMACC (email@example.com) or Nikki Fischer at Ames Chamber (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn of programs available in Story County. Training is free, with additional supports (transportation, childcare vouchers, etc.) available.
YSS Youth Employment Program
420 South Kellogg Ave. Phone: 515-233-3141. See https://www.yss.org/program/youth-employment/ for more information.
Clothing That Works
130 S. Sheldon Ave. in Ames (in the Annex building behind Dunkin' Donuts). Free clothing closet. Obtain clothes for work and beyond. Open Wednesdays 2-5 pm.
Story County Financial Assistance
**To access Unemployment information, please view more information here.**
Centralized Intake Form for Rent and Utility Assistance in Story County
Story County General Assistance, Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance, and The Salvation Army now offer a centralized intake process for applications for rent and utility assistance. You can apply for their multiple programs with one application. To make an appointment, please call 515-663-2930.
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 when funds are available. The payee needs to be able to accept a credit card via phone or the internet. Payments by check are also available but only on a monthly basis. Contact email@example.com.
The Bridge Home
Continuum of care includes street outreach, homelessness prevention, emergency shelter for men, women, and families, supportive housing, rapid rehousing and active case management. Clients qualify by participating in a coordinated entry intake. Examples of assistance may include legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers. The Bridge Home also continues to offer assistance to those affected in any way by Covid. Call 515-232-8075, email firstname.lastname@example.org or apply at their website, https://www.thebridgehome.org/ .
City of Ames
The City of Ames Housing Division operates 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, call 515-239-5380.
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.
515-296-1449 / firstname.lastname@example.org - Rent, utility, gas, food vouchers, CyRide tickets, phone cards, internet, phone bill help available. Good Neighbor takes appointments for assistance applications Monday – Thursday. Call 515-296-1449 or email email@example.com for more information or to make an appointment. You can also apply for assistance online, 24/7, at www.gnea.org/services.
*Good Neighbor does not have walk-in hours at this time.*
Iowa State Student Assistance Office
For currently enrolled Iowa State University students, the Office of Student Assistance helps students achieve academic success, personal growth, and well-being by providing direct support and connection to appropriate university resources. The Office of Student Assistance team would be happy to connect with you to discuss options for support and can be reached by calling 515-294-1020 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. email email@example.com.
MICA is accepting applications for utility and water assistance. If you are approved for LIHEAP, a one-time payment will be sent to your heating vendor. You also will be protected from shut-offs. LIHWAP is crisis water assistance for disconnects on your water bill. The Story County enrollment phone number is 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. Help can be accessed 1x in 6 month period or up to 3 consecutive months if there is a medical reason individual is unable to work. The general assistance application is on the SCCS website https://www.storycountyiowa.gov/345/General-Assistance. The Story County Community Services Office is open to the public. Hours of operation are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Appointments to fill out applications are required. Please call 515-663-2930 to schedule an appointment.
This community collaboration previously ran the Covid-19 Immigrant Fund (at St. Cecilia). Their emergency financial assistance has ended. However, the collaboration is still willing to provide referrals and support and has encouraged interpretive services at other financial assistance providers. Email: email@example.com OR fill out a request form at https://tinyurl.com/contactSCIRC .
515-233-3567 / Kathy.Pinkerton@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 / firstname.lastname@example.org - Rent/utility assistance. Tuesday or Thursdays, 9am - noon, call 515-292-3810 or email email@example.com for questions concerning needed documentation. Please read the link for detailed information: www.staparish.net/social-justice/love-your-neighbor-emergency-assistance
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) 1-800-332-041. Please also refer to their website https://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/2020-coronavirus-outbreak-what-you-need-to-know for information.
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.
Story County has historically been one of the most food insecure counties in all of Iowa. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our local food insecurity. In the link above you can find information on a variety of food resources, including food pantries county-wide 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. Please note that the Ballard and Collins-Maxwell school pantries are no longer operational.
Information on SNAP/Food Assistance Benefits (please check DHS website for newest information)
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) submitted multiple federal waivers to Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to ensure continued expanded access to food and increased SNAP benefits to the maximum allowable amount. These pandemic benefits have now ended. For current information on SNAP, please visit the DHS website.
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
July 2022 note: This is an outdated list of resources for immigrants and other internationals provides resources (financial, ELL classes, COVID-19 information) in Story County, Iowa, and beyond. A local volunteer working group is exploring the creation of an updated version. Please check back for updates. Please also be sure to check under the Financial Assistance resources listed above.
Julio 2022: Esta lista desactualizada incluye recursos para inmigrantes y otras personas internacionales en el condado de Story, en Iowa, y en los alrededores. Un grupo de trabajo voluntario local está explorando la creación de una versión actualizada. Por favor vuelva a chequear. También asegúrese de verificar en los recursos de asistencia financiera enumerados anteriormente.
Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Story County Immigrants
This fund operated from March 2020 thru December 8, 2021. It has now been discontinued. Immigrants in need of financial assistance are encouraged to contact community providers. Please see UWSC’s updated list of providers. For immigrants who need interpretive help, please reach out to Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance: Assistance Good Neighbor firstname.lastname@example.org OR 515-296-1449.
Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance - Phone Cards, Cell Phone Plan Bills, and Internet Bills
Locally, Good Neighbor is able to provide some financial assistance for phones/internet.
Details: funding for $35 monthly phone cards and/or to make payments on cell phone plans or internet bills. Phone cards are limited to Straight Talk, Verizon, AT&T, US Cellular. Phone cards are also limited to availability.
How to Apply: Good Neighbor is open by appointment only. Everyone is required to wear masks when in our office. Please call 515-296-1449 to set up your appointment. Please leave a message if we don’t answer – we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You may also contact us by email at: email@example.com
What You Need to Apply:
- A photo ID
- Income information/verification for the entire household for the past 30 days
- Listing of household expenses
- If your photo ID does not have your current address, we will need proof of Story County residency
Affordable Connectivity Program (formerly Emergency Broadband Benefit)
The FCC has a benefit program to assist households struggling to pay for Internet services during the pandemic. 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. More information about Legal Aid's services can be found here.
Legal Aid provides in-person and virtual appointments for intakes from their waitlist. Eviction cases will be given priority. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance regarding their rent payment, contact Legal Aid at (515) 382-2471. (Office is in Nevada.)
The SingleCare prescription savings card can help everyone save up to 80% on prescriptions, including the uninsured, the underinsured, and those with limited prescription benefits on their insurance plans. When calling in your prescriptions, ask that the SingleCare discount be applied by providing them the following information:
Group ID: FW200
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
Suicide and Crisis Hotline: Dial 988 Available everywhere in the USA.
For a comprehensive list of providers, please see Central Iowa Community Services’ “Mental Health Services for Adults” document (click here) or “Mental Health Services for Children” (click here). For additional information, please visit the CICS website at: https://www.cicsmhds.org/accessing-services/
ACCESS (Assault Care Center)
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 Bridge Home is devoted to bridging the gap between homelessness and housing by providing shelter, support, and inspiring a pathway forward to individuals and families experiencing or on the verge of homelessness. Please call 515-232-8075 to request help.
Youth in crisis can find safety, support and services at any YSS emergency service and shelter:
- Rosedale Shelter (703 Burnett Avenue, Ames) can be reached 24/7 at 515-233-2330.
- 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 and Central Iowa RSVP are offering assistance with medication and grocery pick-up/delivery. To access this assistance, please visit this webpage: https://www.heartlandseniorservices.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Store-Options-and-Policies.pdf OR call the following:
- Story City RSVP: 515-733-4917
- Ames RSVP: 515-292-8890
HIRTA also now has a grocery shuttle with round-trips to Fareway and Lincoln Center Hy-Vee. Learn more at https://www.ridehirta.com/groceryshuttlehere OR call 1-877-686-0029 / email firstname.lastname@example.org.