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We've been empowering generations of Iowans since 1924.

We help people face adversity and empower their success.

None of us know when adversity will leave us feeling hopeless. Catholic Charities serves the people of southwest Iowa when they find themselves in need of help. From basic needs of food and shelter, to empowerment programs that lead to housing, employment, and more. Professional counseling services help to sort out barriers that can keep people from being their best. Educational programs build client skills to help them thrive in the future. We continue to adapt to the needs in our communities so that we are offering services relevant to clients. At the base of it all, we build all of these services on the basis of Catholic Social Teaching, which is focused on social justice, dignity, and respect.

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“I’m not Catholic, can you help me?” – Of course!

Because our mission is based on Catholic Social Teaching, we are compelled to help ALL in need, regardless of religion, race, gender, or demographic. We partner with many other civic and religious organizations in the area to complement our services and strive for well-rounded care for those we serve.

Catholic Charities of Des Moines is turning 100!

Founded in September of 1924 by Bishop Thomas W. Drumm, Catholic Charities of Des Moines has grown and expanded in our 99 years of social ministry service to those in need within our diocese.

Click here to learn more about our 100 year celebration! 

Our Path to Empowerment

We work to break the cycle of multigenerational threats to families. We found that this approach yields substantially better results than traditional methods.

  1. Adapt to current issues.

    Identify the root causes of poverty, anxiety, and need in our community, and understand systemic and cultural threats to families.

  2. Build essential relationships.

    Ally ourselves with institutions and organizations that share our mission and values. Recruit volunteers and collect contributions from the community and beyond.

  3. Address individual needs.

    Understand the immediate needs of each individual or family. Convey a transparent and meaningful relationship with the people involved in every case.

  4. Develop sustainable solutions.

    Educate and connect clients with resources for a viable and successful future.

  5. Create a ripple effect.

    Our solutions strive to empower individuals and families for generations and break the cycle of poverty.

Our Roots

Diocese of Des Moines

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area, the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties. The diocese is comprised of 80 parishes, 18 schools, 60 active diocesan priests, and three Catholic hospitals.

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Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA is a national organization that offers support to member agencies, provides disaster relief and promotes poverty-reduction through research and legislative reform.


USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Our refugee resettlement efforts are directed through USCCB.

Catholic relief services

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.

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Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ "... to bring good news to the poor... release to captives... sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free." (Luke 4:18)

How far is our reach?

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people found shelter

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daily food rations distributed at our food pantry

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refugee families resettled