DES MOINES: The City of Des Moines announced on Friday, Aug. 16 that it has awarded $7,667 from the City’s 2019 Human Services Budget to support Multi Service Center.

Here are more details from the city:

Since 1971, Multi-Service Center (MSC) has been serving low-income families and individuals throughout South King County. Each year, between 45,000-50,000 people get help at MSC with: housing, including family shelter, rental assistance, and permanent affordable housing; education programs in adult basic education, GED preparation and testing, and English as a Second Language; employment search support; food and clothing; energy and emergency assistance; or, advocacy through the long-term care ombuds program. Programs that help people like Alicia, a mother with two young children.

At 33 years of age, Alicia is focusing on getting her life back on track. Over the last several years, she has struggled with substance abuse issues, an abusive former partner, and the loss of custody of her two children, Justin and Kaylynn.

Losing custody of her children sent Alicia spiraling out of control. She began using drugs heavily; however, she never lost sight of her goal to get her children back. So after a few months, she entered her first treatment program. Unfortunately, she relapsed shortly after. She tried again several times with different programs, but continued to relapse. Finally, about a year and a half ago, Alicia found a program that worked for her and she stuck with it. She has been clean and sober since.

Alycia regained custody of Justin, age 7, last April. Shortly afterward, she learned that she was going to need to find new housing. She had nowhere to go. That’s when she learned about Multi- Service Center. She met with one of MSC’s housing case managers who was able to get her into MSC’s family shelter. She stayed there for several months until a unit at one of MSC’s affordable permanent housing properties became available last Fall. She moved in with Justin, and the two of them have begun their path to stability.

Alicia is close to regaining custody of Kaylynn, age 4, and looks forward to her visits with her.

Clear boundaries are one of the reasons behind Alicia’s success. She knows that her sobriety is vital for the health and safety of her children, so she only maintains relationships with friends and family who are clean and sober, and who help create a healthy environment for her and her children.

“It meant the world to me when I got involved with MSC. My life turned around 100% from struggling to a place where I can move forward,” shared Alicia.

MSC is building a future without poverty by creating pathways to help, hope, and dignity for our neighbors. To learn more about MSC, please visit or on social media @mschelps.

*Names have been changed for confidentiality.

The City Council, staff and Human Services Committee remain dedicated to supporting local social service agencies and will continue to highlight these local agencies and how they serve the community throughout the year.