A grant for nonprofits in Iowa is helping the YWCA reach more residents of the Iowa Quad Cities.

Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced $40 million in grant funding for 24 Iowa projects through the Nonprofit Innovation Fund. “We received an overwhelming interest in this unique grant program, which highlights the passion of Iowa’s nonprofits and their positive impact on our state,” said Gov. Reynolds.

The $1.6 million awarded to the YWCA Quad Cities Empowerment Center allows them to expand their services and programs currently offered, as well as offer even more to Iowans in need. Funding for this grant opportunity came from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), as the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on the Empowerment Center’s financial resources, like most nonprofits. “Unfortunately, the lost revenue impacted our ability to provide additional food, essential items and extend services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Iowa,” said Iowa Empowerment Center Executive Director, Deanna Woodall. Woodall continues, “Being awarded this grant will allow the Iowa Empowerment Center to serve the ever-growing population of individuals in need in our local community.”

The Iowa Empowerment Center opened in Davenport in October 2019 as a satellite location for YWCA Quad Cities and the funds have allowed the organization to expand its reach and serve more individuals and families in the Iowa Quad Cities. Before COVID-19, the Center was serving 10-15 clients per week; now it’s regularly serving that number per day.

The pandemic emphasized the need for employment training programs and services that meet the immediate needs of Iowans. The Empowerment Center has expanded within the same facility it started in and it’s become clear that the current space is not adequate to serve the growing needs of the community. After completing a community needs assessment and reviewing all options, it was determined that buying and rehabbing an existing facility would the best way to meet the needs of the people who use the Center. The Center has entered into a purchase agreement for a 13,000+ square foot facility located just three blocks north of its current office space. The property sale should be completed in October and renovations are scheduled to begin in November.

“Receiving this grant to allow us to expand services and programming in the Iowa Quad Cities will be a game changer for this community,” Julie Larson, President & CEO of YWCA Quad Cities said. “We are honored to be selected as an Iowa agency to serve those in need in the great state of Iowa and more importantly, right here in our own community.” 

For more information on The Iowa Empowerment Center, click here.