Eviction Prevention

At a time when being home is the best way to stay safe, thousands of families in our community are facing eviction because they have lost their jobs, struggled to maintain their income, or experienced illness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As of January 27th The Justice Center Project has saved 753 households in Polk County from eviction, including 748 children. The Polk County Housing Trust Fund has halted these evictions by directly paying landlords the back rent that is owed.  To date the Trust Fund has spent more than $1,378,452 keeping families housed.   

Each family's story is different.  We see many single mothers employed in the client facing service workforce.  A surprising number are clerks at convenience stores.  In the early days of the pandemic many of these stores abruptly reduced hours to limit staff exposure.  In addition, staff considered non-essential were removed from weekly schedules.  This abrupt reduction in hours was initially mitigated by federal stimulus checks and relaxed rules for unemployment.  Those programs ended in early August and many started into a downward spiral that included inability to pay any or some rent.Since the Justice Center Project started we have been able to keep every family we work with from becoming homeless.  Without sustained funding, this will not be possible in the coming winter months.  Our hope is to help every family - not just those lucky enough to have their hearing scheduled on the days we have enough funds.

Data

Click below to see the demographic and location information for evictions prevented in Polk County. 

These maps were updated on December 31st, 2020. 

Our Donors

The Justice Center Project was initially funded with a $600,000.00 grant from Polk County and supplemented with $250,000.00 from the PCHTF.  

In recent weeks the following companies and individuals have stepped up to help fund this eviction prevention program and acknowledge that housing stability is essential to our region's well-being. Thank you! 

  • Bankers Trust
  • Businessolver
  • Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
  • Disaster Recovery Fund
  • F & G
  • Kimberley Development Corporation
  • Koester Construction Company, Inc
  • Mid Iowa Health Foundation
  • Nationwide Foundation
  • Principal Financial Group
  • UCS Healthcare
  • United Way of Central Iowa
  • Abbey Barrow
  • Brandee Blankenship
  • Cassie Bonefas
  • Sara Bowe
  • Ned and Micky Burmeister Charitable Fund
  • Emily Caropreso
  • Roxanne & James Conlin Fund
  • Linda Crabb
  • Diana Deibler
  • Angela Dethlefs-Trettin and Matthew, Henry, and Aggie Trettin
  • Janee Harvey
  • Joshua Hellyer
  • Harvey and Barbara Hirsch-Giller
  • Kathleen Hoard
  • Jacquie Holm-Smith
  • Tegan Jarchow
  • Joelyn Jensen-Marren
  • Lori Kauzlarich
  • Susanne Kennedy
  • Shannon Kimberley
  • Rick and Annette Krause
  • Chelsea Lepley
  • Michael Lipsman
  • Lohse Family Fund
  • Ashley Lunning
  • Cole McClelland
  • Tim and Sandy McClelland
  • Corey and Suzanne Mineck
  • Corey Morrison
  • Keerti Patel and John Haraldson
  • Belinda Pellegrino
  • Lonnetta Ragland
  • Bobbi Segura
  • Deb Shoning
  • Jim & Cindy Steffen Mackey

In the News

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund

Affordable Housing in Polk County, Iowa

The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is the comprehensive planningadvocacy and funding organization for Affordable Housing in Polk County Iowa. Focused around these three core activities, the Housing Trust Fund is responsible for crafting the community strategic plan for affordable housing and leading its implementation. It is also tasked with helping the community understand the need for and benefits of adequate affordable housing. Finally, the organization is responsible for allocating community funds aimed at increasing and preserving the inventory of affordable units in the County and improving the lives of the people who live in them.