Poverty Doesn't Have To Be Permanent Image

Poverty Doesn't Have To Be Permanent

We offer services that support people in their efforts to pursue better, more financially stable lives for themselves.

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Poverty Affects People in Every Zip Code

More than 22 percent of Story County residents live below the federal poverty line, which is significantly higher than the 14 percent national poverty rate.

We don't always recognize the face of poverty, even when it's in our own community.


How We Help Overcome Poverty

Representative Payee Program
Managing a budget with a limited, fixed income can be a challenge. That's why we offer the Representative Payee Program, which provides confidential and compassionate budgeting assistance for those who receive Social Security. We help clients budget their income to ensure their housing, food, medical and material needs are met. We also communicate frequently with the Social Security Administration and guide clients through the completion and submission of required paperwork. In addition, we serve as a referral service, helping with food assistance and housing applications, conferring with case managers and/or medical staff, supporting individuals through crises that arise and working closely with Vision Bank staff on behalf of our clients. 

Bill Payer Service
Our volunteer mentors assist clients, who are often older adults or disable, in creating a monthly budget, organizing paperwork, paying bills and balancing their checkbooks. This service decreases the chances of elder abuse and helps older adults maintain independence. 

The Bill Payer Service also benefits those individuals transitioning out of the Representative Payee Program as they learn to become more skilled at managing their Social Security benefits and personal finances. 

Homelessness Prevention
We recognize that for many a car breaking down, job loss or medical emergency can cripple the household budget and create the need for emergency help. If you are in need of rent, mortgage or utility assistance, please call 515-233-3567 to set up an appointment with a case manager. Funds are limited to Story County residents only. A photo ID and household information is required in addition to a lease and/or utility bill for proof of residency.

We also work with local homelessness prevention agencies and shelters, the faith-based community, Story County General Assistance and the City of Ames Housing Division to find the means to help those in need. 

Employment Referrals
Sometimes knowing where to start is the biggest challenge when looking for a job. In our effort to help individuals take the first step towards employment, we give referrals to local businesses looking to hire and agencies like Iowa Works who assist in the hiring process. 

Food Programs
We offer a food pantry and a daily market to help people struggling with hunger and food insecurity make ends meet. Learn more about how we help cure hunger.

Other Ways We Meet Needs