The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines has awarded $100,000 from its Disaster Recovery Fund to support the Central Iowa Ethnic Community-Based Organizations fund, an initiative of the Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa.

The funding will support 17 local groups that work with refugee populations in both case management and direct services. 

“This fund will help support the efforts of 19 ECBOs that provide assistance to over 20,000 Central Iowans,” Stephanie Moris, Alliance director said in an email. “These agencies provide services for refugee and immigrant families and individuals as they navigate the effects of Covid-19.”

Moris said the funding will help the partner agencies provide additional case management services for employment, family services and health, and provide direct relief, such as rent, utility and transportation assistance.

“Many people need the culturally/linguistically appropriate services these agencies office,” Moris said.

Investments from the Disaster Recovery Fund are currently supporting surges in service for local nonprofit organizations that are providing critical safety net services to help keep people in their homes, and to keep them healthy and safe.

The fund has raised nearly $1 million because of the support of the people and businesses of the Des Moines area, the foundation said in a news release. To give to the Disaster Recovery Fund or learn more, visit

According to the foundation’s news release, there is no administrative fee for participating in the fund, with all costs covered by the foundation. Money received will first focus on the economic needs of vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19, and then focus on additional needs as they arise.

This long-term recovery work will be ongoing and it is the intent that this fund continues to grow and serve as a source that can be activated quickly in the face of whatever the next disaster may be.

The Disaster Recovery Fund was created in recent months as a critical component of the community’s collaborative Disaster Recovery Plan.