Hawthorn Hill, Des Moines

Hawthorn Hill provides shelter to homeless mothers with children in the Des Moines area. Executive Director Tim Shanahan addressed a gathering of United Methodist Women over the weekend. He reported that 153 homeless families were served in 2012, including nearly 400 children — and 51% come from outside of Iowa. To highlight the urgency of the need, he reported that from May to September in 2013 demand for their services was so high that Hawthorn Hill had to turn away 498 families, affecting almost 1300 children.

Their ministry works to move families toward self-sufficiency in order to break the cycle of poverty. The group learned about a woman named Eve, who arrived at Hawthorn Hill from Chicago in August of 2012. She was escaping an abusive relationship in order to protect her four children. In the first month, she received support that enabled her to write a resumé and get a job. She also found childcare for her children and received bus tokens to get to work. In the last year, she has earned a high school diploma and a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) degree, which led to a job at Broadlawns hospital.

The Hawthorn Hill website reminds us, “Every family deserves a home.” Our shared gifts in partnership with several community organizations help to make this vision a reality for many lives.

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