HEAL House of Iowa endeavors to provide a hand-UP to teens, families, and individuals in distress by providing safe shelter and support.
HEAL House has been established to identify and support individuals of all ages in Warren County who are homeless or facing imminent housing stress. Is there a homeless issue that warrants intervention in our county of small towns?
A recent night at 1:00 AM, Laurie Abernathy, HEAL House Board President’s cell phone rang. The voice on the other end was a youthful-sounding male. He said that he was aware that Laurie and others have been helping people. The youth admitted that he is living in hiding and is managing, but he needed to get help for a teenage (and pregnant) girl who happened upon his outdoor living space. He was worried about her ability to cope with the cold, her needs were high. He told Laurie where the teenage girl could be located and ended the call. Laurie was able to offer immediate safety for the girl, but concerned community members continue to worry about the caller.
Where is he hiding? Why is he homeless? How can we help? Is he safe?
Since the HEAL House’s inception in September 2017, the group and some community volunteers have helped ten individuals, most of whom are under the age of 18. Identifying rural homeless individuals is a lot like trying to capture ghosts. Unlike their urban counterparts, Iowa’s rural homeless population gets by through doubling-up in single family living situations, couch surfing, creating safety within a barn or other structure, occupying an abandoned building, and/or live deep in our woods. Warren County’s homeless population are difficult to count, yet we need that data in order to secure financial resources and community-based services.
Please send donations to TruBank 1401 N Jefferson, Indianola, Iowa 50125 or to
Laurie Abernathy 16727 Harding Street,
Indianola, IA 50125
Joe & Dorothy Gezel