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Sixth Avenue Flats Opens in Des Moines

On July 7, a grand opening ceremony was held for Sixth Avenue Flats, a new affordable housing project located just north of downtown Des Moines.

A portion of the apartments will be reserved for YSS youth who have aged out of the foster care system and are experiencing homelessness. The youth will receive on-site support from YSS and educational services from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

“This is a space that people will be confident, be safe, and be proud that they live here,” said Andrew Allen, YSS President & CEO.

The $12 million project was developed by Jack Hatch and Michael Kiernan, along with architect Simonson & Associates and general contractor Koester Construction. Along with YSS and DMACC, collaborators in the project include: the Iowa Finance Authority, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Polk County Housing Trust Fund, the City of Des Moines, WNC INC, Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, River Bend Neighborhood, and Sixth Avenue Corridor.

YSS has long been involved in supporting and advocating for former foster care youth, as well as fighting to end youth homelessness.

Since 2002, YSS has led the Iowa Aftercare Services Network (IASN), which was established after the tragic death of Reggie Kelsey, an 18-year-old youth who experienced homelessness and mental health issues after aging out of foster care. Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC), a YSS organization in Des Moines, works to eliminate homelessness among youth and young adults with a drop-in center, emergency beds, and daily meals.

YSS’s involvement in Sixth Avenue Flats is yet another way the organization is working with community partners to provide education, counseling, and stability for youth who need it most.

Learn more about IHYC and the Aftercare program.

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