Resources for Individuals & Families

Below are several links to resources for individuals and families who may need assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is not an exhaustive list of services available to the public. We will update information as more information is known. 

Mental Health Counseling Services

COVID Recovery Iowa offers free virtual counseling by video, chat or phone for all Iowans affected by COVID-19. The Iowa Department of Human Services has contracted with providers to provide counseling, virtual activities, referrals and help finding resources. Sign up here:

Childcare Resources 

Childcare programs provide an essential support for working families. At this critical time, we must ensure these vital resources withstand a pandemic while keeping children and their families safe. The Department of Human Services (DHS) does not recommend preemptive childcare closure at this time, and, in fact, stands ready to address childcare shortages created by any school closure. Should local officials, employers or parents call your center seeking openings due to a COVID-19 closure, please visit or call 1-855-244-5301 to help coordinate alternate sites.

Link to DHS Childcare Guidance:

Iowa State University Extension is offering a free online Babysitting Program. You must be 5th grade or older to take the course. Follow the link for more information.

Link to sign up to provide temporary child care services in Story County:

Assistance for Iowa Renters and Homeowners

Governor Reynolds has allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist Iowans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing housing hardships. This program will provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure.

The Iowa Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program provides eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income. Payments through the program will be made directly to utility providers and applied to the applicant’s account. The application deadline is November 20, 2020.

Legal Assistance Hotline for COVID-19 Questions

Individuals with questions of a legal nature should call the COVID-19 Legal Information Hotline at 1-800-332-0419. It was developed in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid, the Iowa State Bar Association and the Polk County Volunteer Lawyer Project. The hotline can assist Iowans with business and compliance issues, eviction, denial of unemployment benefits, employment issues and other personal legal concerns. You will be asked to leave a message and someone will return your call.

Link to Iowa Legal Aid Website: