Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation Announce $2.55 Million Commitment to Support Housing Command Center and Mobile App to Reduce Homelessness
Central Iowa Shelter & Services, Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation mark the beginning of a new partnership.
The Centene Foundation and Iowa Total Care have announced a $2.55 million commitment as part of a partnership with Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) to create an on-the-ground Housing Command Center (HCC) and a mobile application designed to address certain challenges people and communities face as a result of the social determinants of health (SDOH).
Centene remains steadfast in its mission of transforming the health of the communities we serve, one person at a time. This new partnership will create an innovative, local solution for Iowa’s unhoused. The HCC is expected to launch in spring of 2025 and will house and support unsheltered individuals in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, part of CISS’ recovery housing complex, with two additional locations in Grinnell and Ottumwa. The app, slated to launch in spring of 2024, will offer real-time, action-oriented, person-centered information such as directions to housing, food, medical care and other resources. By creating a more real-time match of individual and family needs with resources, the app will help address the barriers to health and healthcare for more Iowans.
The Centene Foundation and Iowa Total Care’s financial investment in this initiative will be over the course of two years.
“Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation know by addressing the critical link between healthcare and other factors like housing, we can leverage technology, partnerships and local services to create and implement sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations, while fostering healthier communities. We are proud to support and partner with organizations like CISS that share our mission and commitment to innovative solutions to address the needs of Iowans,” said Iowa Total Care Plan President & CEO, Mitch Wasden.
HCCs are centralized emergency operation management systems designed to streamline the processes required to secure housing and other resources for unsheltered individuals in the community. Using technology and natural disaster response tactics, each center serves as an investment in the prioritization of homelessness prevention throughout the state — especially in rural communities. The Institute for Community Alliances identifies 47,598 Iowans that experience homelessness over the course of a year.
The mobile app will enable CISS advocates and Iowa Total Care case managers to connect people more effectively to SDOH services. The app will use geolocators to direct people to housing, food, medical care and other resources that deploy the right services in a timely manner.