Our Services

Have you ever considered what it takes to be well? It’s more than just having a house and a job, especially if you have a history of complex trauma. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created an evidence-based wheel to illustrate the multi-faceted nature of wellness.

The Beacon assists women in their journey toward experiencing greater levels of wellness by providing access to services and support in each of the following eight areas.

services

Changing the system for good.

In 2021, nearly 100% of the women living at The Beacon had a history of both substance use addiction and homelessness, and more than 85% were involved in the criminal justice system. Almost one-fourth of clients were people of color with at least 77% having been victimized by domestic violence.

At The Beacon, we seek to provide opportunities for healing by creating a supportive, empowering environment with a trauma-informed approach to making long-term positive change.

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Occupational

  • Partnerships with Project Iowa, Children and Families of Iowa (Connect 2 Careers), Iowa Workforce Development, St. Vincent de Paul (Immersion), Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation, and Central Iowa Works for career development and job placement
  • Partnership with Dress for Success to equip clients with work clothing

Intellectual

  • Access to a library containing books related to client issues
  • Staff trained in motivational interviewing to encourage self-efficacy and change
  • Educational classes (in-house)

Financial

  • Partnership with Evelyn K. Davis Center for budget coaching, credit score support, and debt reduction
  • Partnership with Freedom Financial Bank to establish a bank account
  • Partnership with DART to provide 50% off bus fares and educational meetings
  • Reduced rent rates that include utilities, food, WiFi, laundry, and staff support 18 hours a day

Physical

  • Partnership with Iowa State University and 8035 Traction for nutritional counseling and fitness classes
  • Partnership with Eat Greater Des Moines for healthy, free food
  • Partnership with local sexual health educators
  • Partnership with Amerigroup for education on navigating healthcare
  • Partnership with the Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for medication review and support

Environmental

  • Staff trained extensively in trauma-informed, equity-centered care
  • Remodeled interior and exterior of building in beautiful Sherman Hill
  • 18-hour staff and shared expectations to support safety and structure
  • Daily community activities and chores
  • Weekly house meeting to share struggles and celebrate milestones

Spiritual

  • Training and activities centered around mindfulness
  • Private and shared spaces for connecting and sharing
  • Referral options for clients with specific religious or spiritual needs
  • Chaplain intern that serves all clients regardless of religious status or affiliation

Emotional

  • Weekly case management with an individualized service plan (in-house)
  • Mental health counseling (in-house)
  • Unconditional positive regard from staff
  • Journaling and mindfulness activities
  • Partnership with Courageous Fire, LLC for Black, female domestic violence survivor group support

Social

  • Group mental health counseling (in-house)
  • Weekly social activities in conjunction with former clients and community members
  • Partnership with Children & Families of Iowa for healthy relationships classes
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring roles

100% of Beacon graduates transitioned to permanent housing in 2021 with an average 500% increase in wages from when they arrived at The Beacon.

Wanda

Wanda

My drug addiction began when I was 16 years old. It continued for more than 40 years during…

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What makes us different?

You can often find The Beacon clients congregating in the kitchen at the end of each day. They have re-entered community living after facing a lifetime of trauma, often followed by incarceration, and this healing and growth can be mentally and emotionally draining. They gather at the end of these difficult days—connecting with one another and finding community, easing the isolation of this reentry process. They cook together, cry together, and laugh together in this space.

They gather for weekly house meetings, where they celebrate a new job, someone who has “phased up” in the program, or someone who is about to graduate and move out. They share their goals, setbacks, and extend support to each other. Speakers visit to discuss things like cooking healthy meals, navigating the bus system, clarifying Medicaid, mindfulness techniques, and other topics. And on the weekends, the kitchen provides a place for game night or watching movies together.

The Beacon is different because we foster community in our shared spaces. We become a supportive family, and that makes all the difference.

Women
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