Emergency Shelter

youth emergency shelter
safe haven for kids
youth counseling services

Our shelter is more than a place to stay. It’s a safe haven designed to help children thrive.

YESS is home to the largest and most comprehensive emergency youth shelter in Iowa. In combination with our Blumenthal Crisis Nursery, YESS provides a safe environment to the entire age range of children under one roof. Kids in shelter are surrounded by supportive services that acknowledge their past and look to brighter futures, including:

  • Basic Needs  Children receive food, shelter, clothing, and comfort items that help them feel physically and emotionally safe 
  • Diverse counseling services   In addition to traditional talk therapy and group support, children in shelter can participate in music, art, and play therapy. Other mental health supports including sensory therapy, substance abuse counseling, and recreation therapy also provide children with the specific therapeutic outlets they need.
  • Educational support   All school-aged children attend classes while in shelter, either within their home school districts or in one of our on-site classrooms. Tutoring, summer school, and reading programs also help children meet their academic goals during a turbulent time in their lives.
  • Medical care   An on-site clinic as well as access to other medical services ensure all children are physically healthy.
  • Case management   Caring staff ensure children living in shelter receive the best care possible.
  • Resources   Staff can provide assessments, community referrals, and other information to help children find the best path to success.
  • The space needed to feel safe, heal from trauma, and simply be a child.


Who Can Stay in Shelter?

Kids of all ages and backgrounds can find a safe and supportive environment at YESS when home is not a safe option. Some children come to our doors because they have been removed from their parents’ care due to allegations of abuse. Others arrive at YESS because they ran away from home or are currently homeless. Parents bring kids to YESS when they need help with a child’s mental health needs or because they are unsure how to prevent them from making unsafe choices. Sometimes a child just needs a structured, supportive environment to get back on track.