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.
DHR Accepting Applications from Youth
The Iowa Department of Human Rights is accepting applications for the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC) and Iowa Youth Congress (IYC) for the 2021-2022 membership term. There is no cost to apply or participate. Applications are due June 4.
State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC)
The State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC) is comprised of 21 youth members from across Iowa between the ages of 14-20. SIYAC is a statutory council that provides input to the Governor, legislature, and communities about important issues that affect youth.
To learn more: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/cas/siyac
To apply: https://forms.gle/CvhWH5TBTezxXJKX6
Letter of recommendation: https://forms.gle/9a2wkxmsRmuLJynH9
"The Iowa Department of Human Rights is currently looking for passionate, motivated, and
dedicated youth from across Iowa to apply for appointment to SIYAC. Youth participation in all levels of government can be a powerful way to be part of the decision-making process." Read full article by Kunal.
Iowa Youth Congress
The Iowa Youth Congress program provides an opportunity for a diverse group of up to 100 Iowa high school-aged youth to learn about the legislative process, leadership skills, civic engagement, and advocacy.
To learn more about IYC: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/iowa-youth-congress
To apply: https://forms.gle/TAt7hh7wVbqyN52y8
Resources for victims of crime or discrimination
With the increase in reports of racially motivated crime and discrimination nationally, it is important to know that there are resources and supports available. The stressful experience of crime, mistreatment, and discrimination can cause psychological, emotional, and physical effects. It affects individuals in different ways, whether it happens to you or someone in your community. Resources are available to help you navigate and receive services.
Rights Division at toll-free 855-856-1247 or 202-514-3827. In addition, the Division provides resources at https://www.ada.gov (disability-related topics) and https://www.lep.gov (language access information).
Iowa Utilities Board Working with 211 to resolve dialing
The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and 211 Iowa are partnering to address concerns that some Iowa residents are experiencing difficulty in connecting with 211 Iowa services. 211 Iowa is a free, comprehensive information and referral system linking Iowa residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services and governmental programs. The 211 service is also providing 211 Vaccine Navigator services to assist qualified Iowans seeking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Some residents in Marion County and the 319 area code have reported issues when dialing 211 from their landline phone. Calls have failed to connect or result in an automated message that the number has been disconnected. Although the cause of the issue is still being investigated, it may be associated with local phone carriers and the IUB is working to identify the source of the issue.
Residents who are experiencing difficulties connecting to 211 Iowa are encouraged to contact the IUB Customer Service toll-free at 877-565-4450. IUB Customer Service staff is available to assist Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The IUB will seek customer information to track down the issue with the customer’s phone carrier and connect the customer to 211. Any Iowa resident can also call 211 Iowa’s toll-free line at 800-244-7431 to speak with a trained and certified 211 operator and access any of the services provided by 211.
CMS Updates Nursing Home Visitation Guidance
On March 10, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued updated guidance for nursing homes to safely expand visitation options during the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency (PHE). The State of Iowa will be issuing an updated guidance document. View the fact sheet: CMS Nursing Home Guidance with Revised Visitation Recommendations.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. FEMA is working to provide finance assistance in April.
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:
Rent and Utility Assistance
The CDC eviction moratorium is scheduled to end March 31, 2021. Although the moratorium has not been extended, help may be available through the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program. The program may provide eligible Iowans with assistance for a period of up to 12 months. The full application is anticipated to be available in late March. Eligibility precheck is now available. Visit https://www.iowafinance.com/iowa-rent-and-utility-assistance-program/.
Note: Polk County and the City of Des Moines will be administering the program locally. Therefore, Iowans residing in either Polk County or the City of Des Moines will be ineligible to apply for the Iowa Rent and Utility Assistance Program. More information on the program that may assist Polk County and City of Des Moines residents is available at IMPACT Community Action Partnership.
Federal Tax Filing and Payment Deadline for Individuals Extended to May 17
The federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will provide formal guidance in the coming days. Read the IRS full press release for more details and other applicable dates.
Iowa income tax returns are due on April 30, 2021.
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)