Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which Iowa counties do you serve?

We serve Allamakee, Bremer, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek counties in Iowa. Not every program is available in every county. 

Are you a government agency?

Helping Services for Youth & Families is a 501(c)3 private nonprofit. We do receive state and federal grants, but that is only a partial source of our income. We receive various community grants and donations from churches, local organizations, and businesses as well as our annual Holiday Lights fundraiser. We also rely on the generosity of individuals who feel passionately about our mission. Consider making a donation to further our work in northeast Iowa.

What donations do you take?

Most of our donations go to support our Domestic Abuse Advocacy Resource Center. We keep an ongoing list to give the public ideas for what clients need. Click here for Resource Center Needs list. If you have any questions about donating to our Resource Center, call the Resource Line directly at 800-383-2988. Our Family Support & Education program periodically will host diaper drives, but will happily accept diapers for clients at any time!

If you have a unique idea for a donation, or one that isn’t covered here, just call and ask us! Our best source of new donation ideas comes from people like you! Call our main office in Decorah, Iowa at 563-387-1720, Option 1 (or Option 2 for the Resource line) or email


We do not accept electronics or appliances due to cost of landfill disposal. We cannot accept any baby equipment for legal reasons due to recalls. We do not accept clothing, except for winter clothing, hats, mittens and socks that clients can use in emergency situations. We provide clients vouchers to purchase clothing at local thrift stores that put money back into the community, such as the Depot Outlet in Decorah, Iowa. We encourage donating to them, because we, in turn, benefit. Personal care products and household cleaning products are appreciated, but we will not accept any products that have been used or opened. We are selective in books that we accept, they are taken on a case-by-case situation as we feel that our clients would benefit from them. We do not accept magazines.

Do you have any funds to help the homeless?

Unfortunately, we do not. Homelessness is a real problem in Iowa. There are no homeless shelters in our corner of the state and we do not give out gas cards for people to travel to homeless shelters.  

Do you offer rental or utilities assistance?

This is a common question we receive. In some restricted situations we are able to assist clients of our domestic abuse advocacy services. This is on a case-by-case basis. We are unable to help with rent or utilities otherwise.

Why did you change your name?

Helping Services For Youth & Families changed its name in 2015 (previously Helping Services for NE Iowa). We found the old name was too general and confused the public about what kinds of services we offer