Youth Homelessness

Youth and young adults in Iowa struggle with homelessness for many reasons. They may have aged out of the foster care system, cannot live safely with a parent or family member, or don't have stable living arrangements. Our programs focus on helping these homeless youth - including pregnant or parenting families - to live independently and become self-sufficient.

Often a last resort for runaway and homeless youth, the YSS Transitional Living (TLP) and Supportive Housing Programs (Rapid Rehousing – RRH) help those who are non-system involved, meaning they are not placed or directly supported by any governmental payment agency. A case manager works one-on-one with each client to help them set and achieve educational, employment, and independent living goals.

counselor ames


YSS provides homeless young women and men a safe living environment and individualized support to help them reach their goals. Participants may stay in the program for up to 18 months. During this time, youth work one-on-one with Transitional Living Specialists to create and execute a plan to help them acquire safe and secure housing, stable employment and overall self-sufficiency. Youth are expected to place a portion of their salary in a savings account for use after leaving the program.


Our TLP programs in Ames are scattered-site, agency-leased apartments and houses, for individual youth ages 16 -22; and young families ages 16 -25.


Our TLP programs in Boone include:

  • TLP Apartment: Single individuals (men & women) ages 16 -22
  • Lighthouse: Young families (mothers & fathers) ages 16 -25


Our TLP programs in Marshalltown include:

  • TLP Apartment: Single individuals (men & women) ages 16 -22
  • New Hope: Young families (mothers & fathers) ages 16 -25
  • Lighthouse: Young families (mothers & fathers) ages 16 -25

Des Moines - Iowa Homeless Youth Center (IHYC)

Our Supportive Housing programs at IHYC offer youth safe housing and an opportunity to increase self-sufficiency skills. A case manager works with each youth to set and achieve goals related to education, employment, safe housing, life skills and positive community engagement. Support, information and referrals are provided 24 hours a day.

mental health services


Up to nine homeless young families (ages 16 -25) and their children can live at the Lighthouse for up to two years. While in the program, these youth receive not only a safe living environment, but also assistance in life and parenting skill building.

Lighthouse Transitional Living staff work one-on-one with youth to create and accomplish an individualized plan for self-sufficiency. In addition, participants are supported in learning about parenting, child development, nutrition, wellness, and childcare. While at the Lighthouse, young parents are encouraged to complete or further their education, maintain regular employment, and place a portion of their salary in a savings account to use after leaving the program.

Rapid Rehousing

Twelve youth (age 18-24) can move into their own stable housing more quickly with IHYC’s Rapid Rehousing program. Youth live in their own apartment with a lease in their name, while still receiving support from Rapid Rehousing program staff. While in the program, youth will receive rent assistance on a sliding scale over 12 months as they work to obtain stable employment at a livable wage and achieve overall self-sufficiency. This program is currently in development and will launch in late 2017.

Reach out today!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information. If your request is urgent in nature, we request you contact us by phone at 515.233.3141.