Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Website: Central Iowa Shelter & Services

Mission: Central Iowa Shelter & Services’ Mission is to provide low-barrier shelter, meals and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness and to facilitate their move toward self-sufficiency.

Location:  Des Moines (55 miles from Grinnell College)


Needs: There are many ways to support the mission of CISS. Some simple things to do are to collect our “Top Need” items and bring them to the shelter.

Volunteers can help on big projects, serve on committees, or help with daily needs either on a regular basis or once in a while.

  • serve a meal (lunch or dinner)
  • operate the food pantry, clothing closet, or hygiene window
  • computer lab attendant
  • assist clients with housing and job applications
  • maintain our garden in the summer and greenhouse in the winter
  • sort incoming donations, pick-up food and clothing rescues in the community
  • grant writing, data entry, reporting, write thank-you notes
  • host game nights, lead a creative activity for our clients

Do you have a skill, hobby, or area of interest that you could share with our clients in a different capacity? Let us know, and we can tailor a volunteer opportunity specifically for you. We recognize that many volunteers come to us with special skills or interests. If you would like to share those skills or interests with CISS, either directly with our clients or indirectly to impact the organization, we can design a volunteer opportunity based on your specific skills.



  • One-time events: yes
  • Ongoing: yes, clothing closet, food pantry, classroom attendant, hygiene window operations
  • Groups possible? yes

When is service needed: Volunteer opportunities are available and needed all year round

Number of hours: Flexible


  • In-person: yes
  • Hybrid in-person/virtual possible: yes
  • Fully virtual possible: yes


Background check required: no

Equipment/logistics needed: Positions in the garden may require volunteers to bring their own equipment (i.e. gloves)

Training supplied: Training depends on the volunteer position

Equipment or logistics supplied: supplies needed will be provided


How to apply: Please fill out our volunteer application https://centraliowashelter.org/how-to-help/volunteer-application.html or check out our opportunities below and contact Sadie Nymeyer at snymeyer@centraliowashelter.org or (515) 280-2988 if you have any questions.

Contact: Sadie Nymeyer, (515) 280-2988, snymeyer@centraliowashelter.org


Operation information: Central Iowa Shelter & Services is committed to providing low-barrier shelter at no cost to our clients, meaning that those people that would be turned away at other shelters can come to CISS to get services. But CISS provides so much more beyond just shelter services, including case management, health and wellness programming, and educational opportunities for clients to utilize daily. With so much to offer, CISS strives to be a one-stop-shop for all needs for someone experiencing homelessness. We want all of our clients to be back on their feet and in permanent housing as soon as they are ready, and we will help them however we can on their journey to self-sufficiency.

Address: 1420 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

If you are with this organization and need to update your listing, please access our update form on this page: For Community Partners