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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get into the shelter?

You should call (319) 351-0326 or come to 429 Southgate in person to access the Coordinated Entry system if you are seeking emergency shelter. Staff will assess your options and let you know what is available.

What if I do not get into the shelter the first night?

Unfortunately, as Johnson County’s only all-purpose shelter, there is currently no overflow location we can direct you to if we do not have a bed available due to being at our 70 bed capacity. When signing up for the priority list, you should try and have a secondary form of shelter in case you do not receive a bed that night.

What situations would prevent me from staying at the shelter?

We do not serve unaccompanied youth and sex offenders.

Can you drive me to the shelter?

We do not provide transportation; however, we are on the Iowa City bus route. From downtown Iowa City, the Broadway, Cross Park, and Lakeside buses stop near our building.

Do you accept families?

Yes, we accept families. We have six family rooms with space for 1 – 2 families per room depending on family size and dynamics.

Do you accept people who identify as LGBTQ+?

We welcome everyone experiencing homelessness regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression and fully follow HUD’s Equal Access Rule. We have separate dorms for men and women, and you may stay in whichever one you feel most comfortable and safest in.

How long can I stay?

Generally emergency shelter is meant to be a short-term and emergent solution to keeping someone safe who is experiencing homelessness. A typical stay in shelter is 45 days or less.

How many personal items can I bring with me?

Space is limited; you are able to store items in a small locker (for individuals) or shelving space (for families.) We recommend limiting your belongings to just the necessities since we do not have the capacity to store extra items for you.

Can I stay in during the day at the shelter?

We are an overnight shelter so residents are not able to stay in the dorms or family rooms between 8am – 5pm during the week and 10am – 5pm on the weekends.

Will I have a case manager?

Case managers are available to everyone who accesses emergency shelter to provide employment and housing related  supports.  They will also be available to connect you with other services and supports that you might qualify for.

Will you help me find a job?

Job Lab is open Monday – Friday 8am – 10am, Friday 2pm – 4pm, and various afternoons and evenings throughout the week. The lab is equipped with computers to search for employment opportunities, create resumes, and apply for jobs. Our employment case manager is dedicated to connecting you with jobs in the community, and volunteers are also available to help create or update your resume, provide information on current job openings, and assist with interview tips and practice.

Will you help me find a permanent place to live?

Your housing case manager or shelter staff will provide direction to appropriate resources and assist you with the necessary steps needed to find housing. When funds are available, the Rapid Re-housing program can help pay for security deposit and short term rental assistance.