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Poverty Hides in Plain Sight Image

Poverty Hides in Plain Sight

We notice the need and provide services that offer real solutions.

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Need Is Found in Every Community

More than 17 percent of residents in Mason City live below the federal poverty level, yet most of us don’t see the day-to-day struggles these families and individuals face.

Need is everywhere and poverty does not discriminate. You likely know someone in your own neighborhood, workplace or church who is struggling to make ends meet.

How We Help Overcome Poverty

We come alongside individuals and families to meet their basic needs, offer compassion and support, and plan long-term strategies to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Social Services
No one should have to choose between paying the electric bill and purchasing groceries for the week. Our social services meet the emergency needs of more than 200 individuals in north central Iowa every month by offering assistance with rent and utility payments.

We also address the barriers that prohibit people from achieving a satisfying quality of life by offering classes on budget management, housekeeping, parenting and cooking.

Food Pantry  |  Open Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m.
Approximately 13 percent of people in Cerro Gordo County are food insecure, meaning they may not know where they will get their next meal. Our food pantry helps to bridge that gap by offering nutritional staples like canned goods, packaged foods and bread to individuals and families struggling to put food on the table.

Stepping Up Boot Program
This program, which provides specialty clothing items such as steel toe boots for construction work, is unique in the area, helping approximately 200 adults annually who are entering or re-entering the workforce take what is often the final step between poverty and self-sufficiency.

Back-to-School Backpack Program
Outfitting kids with school supplies every fall can strain already-tight budgets. Each year our Back-to-School Backpack Program provides more than 700 students in kindergarten through high school with brand-new backpacks filled with supplies.

Christmas Assistance
Christmastime can put an extra financial burden on families, which is why we help more than 3,600 people in north central Iowa with Christmas assistance, including toys and food, each year. We are the only agency in the nine-county area that offers this kind of assistance during the holiday season.

Pathway of Hope
The goal of Pathway of Hope is to guide families with children 18 years and younger through crisis and instability to a place of security in order to ultimately break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. We offer strengths-based casework, providing services such as:

Pathway of Hope works with people where they are, offering practical guidance to help families overcome obstacles and achieve their big-picture goals, one step at a time.

Family Store
Our local thrift store offers affordable clothing, household goods, furniture and more. Find The Salvation Army Mason City Family Store at 3551 4th St. SW.

Call Ruth Ungs, store manager, at 641-424-5574 for more information. 

Other Ways We Meet Need