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For a better life in Des Moines, housing comes first

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Anawim Housing is dedicated to developing stable homes and strengthening people and communities. The organization began in 1987 with two homes along 12th street in Des Moines and has expanded to now provide housing solutions for more than 1,000 people and families across Iowa.

Anawim is distinguished as the largest provider of permanent supportive housing in Iowa, serving over 300 individuals and families. They offer low-barrier services tailored to individuals and families experiencing homelessness to partner with the person to achieve housing stability and other life goals.

“Housing First” programs like Anawim’s offer stable, barrier free housing to people in the community who are experiencing homelessness. This includes individuals who may be living with physical and mental health diagnoses, substance abuse disorders, or are fleeing domestic violence.

Through this program, Anawim provides access to safe, secure housing first, then other services to help their residents stabilize and succeed.

As executive director Cynthia Latcham says in this short video, “Lives change quickly when basic needs are met.”

The need for affordable housing continues to rise. Anawim Housing is committed to providing solutions and seeking out unique and innovative opportunities to serve the community through strategic partnerships, new development, and re-development of existing structures. Learn more about Anawim Housing at

This week, the Polk County Housing Trust Fund is sharing stories about some of our provider partners working to ensure housing opportunity for all. Make sure you sign up for e-mail updates to stay in touch when we share more stories like these.


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