Hawthorn Hill’s ministry in Des Moines helped 38 adults and their 101 children achieve economic self-sustainability in 2017. The Home Connection provides supportive housing for homeless families with children to help families attain financial independence through employment and education.
Juanita arrived with her children from Texas in 2013 to flee the negative influences in her life. She entered and successfully completed the 5-step residential chemical dependency treatment program and joined The Home Connection in 2015.
The Home Connection owns 28 housing units that they make available to homeless families. To be eligible, at least one adult must be working or actively looking for employment, and parents must be involved in their children’s education and development.
Each family pays a minimum of $400 or 30% of their income, whichever is greater, to The Home Connection. Five percent of these funds is set aside in an escrow account established for the family, which is returned to them to use as a down payment on a home, rent, and/or rent deposit.
Juanita enrolled in the social worker program at Des Moines Area Community College and waited tables part-time while attending classes. She graduated in 2015 and began studying for her chemical dependency counselor degree at Grandview University. She was hired full-time as a counselor at Bridges of Iowa, where she interned while going to school.
Hawthorn Hill received an $18,000 grant in 2017 made possible through the apportionment gifts of the United Methodist churches of Iowa.