About Us


Mission Statement

Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) changes lives by protecting children and empowering families.

What We Do

YESS provides a safety net of programs designed to help kids when they need it most, including emergency shelter, crisis nursery care, mental health counseling, and care coordination. As Iowa's largest provider of emergency services for youth, the agency connects more than 2,000 children per year with healing and hope.

YESS is home to Iowa's largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for kids, which provides a safe haven and wraparound support to more than 800 children (newborn through age 17)  per year. In addition, the agency cares for hundreds of children in the community to keep them safe and healthy in their own homes. YESS is a nationally-accredited nonprofit organization that  uniquely serves the community’s most vulnerable children and creates an environment where families can thrive.  


How We Do It

Every child comes to YESS with a story; these stories often involve loss, emotional or physical pain, change, uncertainty, or other difficult experiences. To ensure that we respect and are sensitive to each child’s story, YESS utilizes a trauma-informed framework throughout our services and programs. This strengths-based model shifts from a perspective of “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” and promotes a caring focus on acknowledging previous trauma and working to overcome it.

Whether it is under our roof or out in the community, the caring team at YESS works in partnership with children, families, and other community resources to ensure children receive the best care possible. We put the needs of children and their families at the center of everything we do to ensure children receive the support they need, when they need it. 

Who We Help

Every day, children from across the state of Iowa rely on YESS for safety and care. No matter the age of the child or the circumstances that brought them to our doors, YESS is here to help.

We assist children and families experiencing some of life’s biggest challenges:

  • Aggression or ongoing family conflict
  • Problems at school or in peer relationships
  • Mental health challenges (depression, anxiety, sensory disorders, adjustment concerns, and more)
  • Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse 
  • Child neglect
  • Substance abuse 
  • Poverty, homelessness, and family instability

If you or someone you know needs support to navigate life’s challenges, call 515-282-YESS (9377) any time to speak with a caring member of our team. Our 24-hour access line can provide resources, guidance, and connection to YESS’ entire network of services.

Click here to read our Impact Report and learn about the lives we changed in 2020.

Click here for recent Form 990s or Contact Us to request a copy

Click here to view our Privacy Policy