We are here to help.
The Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) brings strength to Iowa's rich heritage. Our three divisions - Community Action Agencies, Community Advocacy and Services, and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning - work to reduce cultural, social, and economic barriers to opportunities for Iowans to succeed.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
News on the COVID-19 vaccines has been encouraging. The CDC has been working with health departments and partners to develop vaccination distribution plans for when a vaccine is available. The CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health have information on some commonly asked questions about the vaccine. When will a vaccine be available? Which groups will be given priority to receive the vaccine? How does it work? How long does the vaccine last? If I've had COVID-19, should I get the vaccine? How much will it cost? Responses to these questions can be found on the Iowa Department of Public Health's website, as well as the CDC's.
Food Insecurity During the Holidays
Holidays can be a stressful time for those experiencing food-insecurity, such as seniors and households facing economic challenges, especially when people are struggling during the pandemic. Families sometimes have to choose between food, utilities, medical care, and other necessities. Not having access to enough, affordable, and nutritious food can affect an individual's health and well-being and children's development.
Many families rely on food resources and other programs in Iowa If you are in need of food assistance, here are some organizations that provide food or other resources:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services -
American Sign Language and Braille Disability Updates
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced enhancements that make its services more accessible for members of the public with disabilities.
A 15-minute video about the naturalization process is now available in American Sign
Language. The video provides information on general eligibility requirements, filing an
application, the naturalization interview, and the Oath ceremony.
For naturalization applicants, USCIS can offer the English reading test in braille.
Hardcopy study materials are also available in braille. To request braille-related or other
accommodations, members of the public should use the online accommodations request
form or call the Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).
Through the Citizenship Resource Center, individuals can access and print large-print
versions of the Civics (History and Government) Questions for the Naturalization Test,
Civics Questions for the 65/20 Exemption, the Reading Test Vocabulary and the Writing
Test Vocabulary. Individuals can also access text-only versions of these materials for use
with screen enlargers, screen readers, refreshable braille displays, and most other
For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or
Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).
The Crossroads of Iowa Eighth Annual Transcending Seminar
Crossroads of Iowa is a non-profit organization that a develops programs for women, including those in jail or prison, with a focus on mental wellness using a holistic approach. Join their next event:
What: The Crossroads of Iowa Eighth Annual Transcending Seminar
When:: Friday, January 29, 2021
Where: Grand View University Student Center, 2811 E. 14th St., Des Moines, Iowa
Visit https://www.crossroadsofiowa.org or see brochure for more information on continuing education units, fees, lunch, and parking.
HUD Awards More than $12.5 Million in Housing Counseling Grants
On October 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $12.5 million in supplemental housing counseling grants. These supplemental grants will support quality housing counseling services to renters and homeowners. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies help households find affordable rental housing, offer financial literacy training, and provide foreclosure prevention counseling. These agencies also support emergency preparedness and disaster recovery efforts, assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing, and help seniors determine whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for them. Agencies in Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Dubuque, Muscatine, Sioux City, and Waterloo received a grant. Read full press release...
COVID-19 Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program-Application Deadline December 4, 2020
The last day to apply for the the State's Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program is December 4, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. The program will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.
Available assistance include
HHS/CDC Temporary Halt of COVID-19 Eviction
Living in a safe, stable home is important to personal health and well-being. On September 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/CDC issued a Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the further Spread of COVID-19. The Order temporarily stops residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent through December 31, 2020. The Order protects renters who meet certain requirements and who sign a declaration form and give it to the landlord.
Please note that evictions can take place if certain terms of the lease are broken. Late fees can still be charged, and the obligation to pay rent remains. The process and requirements around the moratorium and evictions can be complex. For information on how to take advantage of the moratorium, visit Iowa Legal Aid's website.
If you are unable to pay your rent, here are some resources on rental assistance, housing, and other help.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season. The application period is November 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021. Customers who qualify for LIHEAP are protected from having their natural gas and electric utilities disconnected from November 1 to April 1.
Applications are taken at your local community action agency. Anyone facing disconnection at any time should contact their local community action agency for assistance.
To find your local agency, visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply, or contact the Iowa Department of Human Rights (DHR) at (515) 242-5655 or 1-800-351-4659. LIHEAP information is available in multiple languages on the DHR's website.
COVID-19 Language Resources
American Sign Language Videos-CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Resources for Limited English Proficient Populations
Congolese Health Partnership Videos
Coronavirus, State Website
Crescent Community Health Center-Marshallese Language
EMBARC Ethnic Minorities of Burma and Advocacy and Resource Center
Hawaii Office of Language Access-Youtube
Iowa Department of Human Rights-Language Access
Iowa Department of Public Health
Iowa Spanish Helpline 515-344-3936
Multi-Lingual Hotline 1-877-558-2609
Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa
Test Iowa-Free COVID-19 Testing (Spanish available)