DES MOINES, Iowa — For the past 100 years, Hope Ministries has provided shelter for homeless men, but in recent years the ministry expanded, helping a new segment of the homeless population.
Now, 35-percent of Iowa’s homeless population is comprised of families with children. This group is also the fastest growing.
In 2004 the organization opened the Hope Center for women and children providing short and long-term programming. The center has 48 beds, but every month officials have to turn away around 200 women. Hope Ministries’ representative Kathy Coady says the number of women seeking help is increasing in part because more families are struggling and because women are more aware of the services available.
“As that awareness builds also, more women are seeking help which we are very thankful for. More women are kind of coming out… where they might be living in a car and or just moving from one friend’s house to another person’s home so that they can keep custody of their children,” said Coady.
Every month Hope Ministries provides an average of 4,500 shelter bed nights and 12,500 meals.
Friday morning Hope Ministries will celebrate its 100th day of its 100th year of service. Governor Branstad will also attend, proclaiming the date “Hope Ministries Day.” The celebration will be held in the chapel of Hope Ministries Bethel Mission ministry center from 9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.