What our families say

“I feel I accomplish some of my goals every single day. One of my goals for the future is to be responsible and secure enough to have my own home by the time I have to leave here. I’ve been saving money and learning something new each and every day.” —The Home Connection family


With your help, we can offer more case management and assistance to homeless families in need. Get Involved Now


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A place where brothers can stay together.

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A place that brings joy and security.

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A place where lasting friendships are made.

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A place full of hope.

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Hawthorn Hill, Keeping Families Together

Kati's Story

Kati and ChildrenKati is a mother of four children; Calen 6, Conner 5, Parker 3, and Layla 1. She was raised by her grandparents and didn't have a relationship with her parents because of their habitual drug use. At the age of 17 she received her GED and moved out on her own working full time and taking classes at DMACC.


Kati's homelessness began in earlier this year after her grandma passed away. Her grandma helped pay her bills and when she died, Kati was evicted from her home. Kati did not have stable housing and moved from house to house and in October was accepted into the Home Connection Program.


Since Kati has been in The Home Connection program, she has been working hard towards financial independence. She has been tracking her expenses and it has prompted her to make some changes in her spending. ... Read More

Autumn's Story

Autumn and ChildrenAutumn's story isn't a new one, and unfortunately many stories like hers don't end well. This time we're convinced that with a little help from Hawthorn Hill's, The Home Connection program, Autumn's will be a success story.


Autumn was convinced that she'd found the man of her dreams; warm, kind, responsible, and a wonderful soon-to-be father to her four children. All was right with the world ...until after the wedding when everything drastically changed . Her husband became controlling, violent and abusive. Autumn knew she had to get herself and, more importantly, her children out of this horrible situation.


She left the marriage with nothing, no car, no money, no belongings... Read More



The Terry Family Story

The Terry FamilyWith addiction they lost everything, but love held them together through it all.


Melissa and Jack were married in 2004 and bought their first home that same year. They both had excellent jobs, and Jack had been working as a union laborer within the same company for 9 years. Unfortunately, Jack was injured at work and started to see a pain management specialist, which was the beginning of their downward spiral. Jack was laid off due to his injury and the family started getting behind on their bills. The financial issues caused a lot of stress and both Jack and Melissa took medication to numb the emotional pain. Their home was eventually foreclosed upon and their vehicles were repossessed. In December 2009, Jack and Melissa's parents turned them into OHS and their 3-year-old son, Nicholas, was taken from their care... Read More



Christine's Story

Christine and ChildrenChristine found herself wondering what her future was going to be while sitting in jail in Waterloo. She had been arrested for drugs and her life was going nowhere . Christine had been using meth since her father introduced her to the drug when she was 12 years old. She now was a young adult with two small children to take care of and realized she had to do something soon to be the mother her children needed. She knew if she continued the path she was currently on, she would lose custody of her children.


It was while in jail that Christine made the decision to leave Waterloo and all the bad influences she was associated with there. She found out about House of Mercy in Des Moines. She was accepted into their substance abuse program and immediately moved to Des Moines to reside at House of Mercy.  When she and her two children arrived, she had an open case with DHS and was on probation... Read More

Register Article

Homeless mother shares struggle of getting on her feetSabrina Porter, a 20-year-old mother of two, hasn't had a permanent address since aging out of foster care two years ago.


Rod Klampe II, his girlfriend and their six children lost their home in September when the 22-year-old's wages no longer covered the rent.

Both Iowans are part of Des Moines' population of homeless families, a group whose struggles often remain invisible.


It's difficult to track the number of parents who lack secure housing for their children, but social service workers say high turn-away rates at local shelters indicate the economic downturn has hit families hard. Limited resources to assist homeless parents further compound the problem... Read More



Hawthorn Hill held it's 5th annual Art & More for Shelter fundraising event April 17, 2014.








Click Here Art and More for Shelter