Day Center Gets Makeover

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) guest families haven’t been gathering in the Day Center. So, in mid-December of 2020, we decided it was a good time to do some much-needed repainting of the room. However, what started out as a simple paint job quickly turned into a bigger project resulting in a complete face lift for the gathering area.
Ankeny First United Methodist volunteers, Jerry and Monte, organized a small group to repaint the Day Center. They started by filling holes in the wall and taping, and then painted the entire area. Because our youngest guests occasionally enjoy doodling on the walls, Jerry and Monte even used chalkboard paint for two large rectangle areas providing areas for them to create their finest wall art.
With the painting task completed, we found ourselves inspired to expand the tiled kitchen floor, which had been discussed since 2019. With the help of Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Building Superintendent Seth, carpet was cut and removed and new tile put down. When the normal process for stripping and cleaning the old tile didn’t clean it as we’d hoped, Westminster’s custodian, Jim, put a little old fashioned elbow grease into the job and made the old tile look as great as the new.
But…we didn’t stop there. In the final days of December, ServiceMaster Green came by and cleaned the Day Center carpet and all the furniture. While moving the furniture back into the Day Center, we decided to purchase new wardrobes for each guest room since we’d had the originals since 2005.
Finally, to wrap up the overhaul, the kitchen table is in the process of being refinished. “We hope soon,” jokes the staff. When asked when he is going to get the final coat of polyurethane on it, FPGD’s Executive Director Jim Cain can be heard saying, “I’m getting to it. I’m getting to it.”
Special thanks to the volunteers from our host congregation Ankeny First United Methodist and the Westminster staff for all of their hard work to help our guests enjoy nicer, cleaner accommodations! See a photo gallery of the renovations here

Operation Rice Bowl

Every year, the Diocese of Des Moines collects donations during the Lenten season through the Catholic Relief Service Operation Rice Bowl Program. Of the donations collected, 25 percent remains in Des Moines to support local efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty, such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries. Family Promise of Greater Des Moines has been a recipient of these grants, including $700 in 2020, which helps support our services to families experiencing homelessness.
Please consider participating in Operation Rice Bowl this Lenten season – your change creates local change in the lives of homeless and low-income families in our community!

Host Congregations Continuing to Offer Support Despite Pandemic
Due to the pandemic, 2020 looked completely different than other years for our staff, guests, partner congregations and volunteers. Because of this, we are especially thankful for the time and effort many still put forth to show our guests support. 
Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart was one of 12 host congregations that continued to provide meals and overnight volunteers for one week every quarter. Despite having fewer volunteers than normal years, their host coordinators focused on offering support to our staff and guest families wherever possible.
“Things had to change a little,” said Natalie Francis, Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Host Coordinator. With families sheltering-in-place at Westminster Presbyterian Church instead of rotating between our 14 host congregations, volunteers did not have direct contact with guest families for social distancing purposes. 
“We have one [household] do each meal right now, when before [the pandemic] we could have groups contribute, and it would be more of a social gathering with the guests,” Natalie added. “Now we take the meals and drop them off for Family Promise staff to provide to the families.”
At Christmas time, the parish gathered new donated gifts for former guest families who are now in the aftercare program. They donated two cars full of gifts, including one entire car loaded with gifts from their youth group. 
Even though the bustling of guest families and the laughter of their children is missing from Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart parish right now, Natalie said it’s important that the congregation continues contributing to Family Promise’s mission to help families experiencing homelessness establish stable housing and income.
“We miss the interaction with the guests, but at least [Westminster] is one nice place for them to be. Kudos to that church for being able to house them and everything they’ve done,” Natalie said. Since many of her congregation’s volunteers are staying home and socially distanced, they have enjoyed taking their meal preparations to the next level, hoping to make them extra special. “It’s a way they can still help safely,” she added.
Board Spotlight - Jamie Charlton
After volunteering eight years for Family Promise of Greater Des Moines as a congregation member at Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, Jamie Charlton is excited to now serve as a board member for an organization that she believes is creating positive change in people’s lives.
“Family Promise is important to me because it is a concrete way to see ‘God’s Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven,’” said Jamie. “Everyone should have the basic necessities of shelter and food. Family Promise provides these vital rights and much more. Experiencing homelessness is a huge challenge, but Family Promise shows what can be done when people come together for the good of all.”
Jamie said her favorite part of volunteering at Family Promise is the simple act of sharing a meal. “I remember one summer night after dinner when a guest family with sweet twin girls treated us to a ‘show’ outside – with a dance and rhyme routine they’d been practicing. We laughed, enjoyed the breeze, and took in the youthful energy, positivity, and creativity of two amazing girls.”
Jamie and her husband, Ryan, live in Des Moines and have two grown children, Liv and Jude. Jamie is an editor at Perfection Learning Corporation and in her spare time she likes to garden, read, run, camp, and beat Ryan at Scrabble. The couple also enjoys traveling.
Our thanks to Jamie for donating her time and talents to the FPGD board of directors!
Maximize Your Impact With Thrivent Choice Dollars®

Direct Choice Dollars by March 31

Thrivent Choice is an easy way to support and strengthen Family Promise of Greater Des Moines! Eligible Thrivent client members who have available Choice Dollars can direct them to Family Promise of Greater Des Moines. Don’t miss this opportunity to recommend that Thrivent distribute its outreach funding to our organization. Go to to learn more. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt. 


In addition to financial gifts, as-needed supplies are also extremely important to the success of our organization. If you'd like to contribute, please drop off any of the following items at Family Promise of Greater Des Moines, 4114 Allison Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. We also have an AmazonSmile Wish List for easy ordering and delivery with just a click of your mouse! 
  • Men's and women's shaving razors
  • Hairbrushes
  • Wet wipes (sensitive skin)
  • Body soap/wash
  • Lotion
Thank you for supporting the families we serve!

Our Mission:
To mobilize our community to help homeless families achieve stable housing
and income through compassionate care, hospitality and professional support.
Host Congregations:
Aldersgate UMC
• Ankeny First UMC
• Faith Lutheran
• First Unitarian
   • Grimes United
   Methodist Church
   • Holy Trinity Lutheran
  • Holy Trinity Catholic     Church
  • Lutheran Church of Hope
• Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart
• Plymouth United Church of Christ
• Ss. John & Paul Parish
• St. Stephen Lutheran
• Urbandale United Church of Christ
• Walnut Hills UMC
• Westminster Presbyterian
• Windsor Heights Lutheran
Support Congregations:
• St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church
• St. Pius X Catholic Church
• St. Theresa Church of the Child Jesus
• West Des Moines
  Christian Church

Subscribe to our email list.