Oct 17, 2022 - News

Des Moines to hire homelessness policy administrator

Illustration of a welcome mat that reads "help"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The city of Des Moines has added a new position to its roster: Homelessness policy administrator.

Why it matters: The metro is struggling to help people experiencing homelessness.

  • The new position will act as a liaison among groups that provide assistance and governments to help coordinate and improve services.

Context: Multiple businesses warned city council members last month that some people aren't accessing or are unaware of the assistance.

  • Camping along streets or sidewalks, panhandling and loitering has increased, they said.
  • City crews took emergency action last week to clear an area near downtown's Central Iowa Shelter and Services after receiving multiple complaints and finding garbage and human waste in public areas.

Details: The position was advertised last week with applications due in November.

  • The salary range is between $86,000 and $109,000.

State of play: For decades, DSM has given financial assistance to groups that provide services or transitional housing to people experiencing homelessness.

Zoom in: A dedicated staffer to coalesce resources and expose new housing opportunities could help maximize assistance, YSS CEO Andrew Allen told Axios Friday.

  • The group, which runs the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers in downtown DSM, has seen an increase in need since the pandemic, he said.
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