BETTENDORF, IOWA (November 17, 2022) — In late 2020, Humility Homes and Services received a $100,000 Transformation Grant from the Quad Cities Community Foundation to help pilot its supportive housing model, a holistic approach combining stable affordable housing with wraparound services. Just this week, Humility announced that a new $1 million grant from the US Bureau of Justice Administration will allow it, in partnership with the Seventh Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, to expand the program across five Iowa counties with an emphasis on supporting justice-involved individuals.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate this wonderful news for Humility Homes and Services and for our community,” said Kelly Thompson, the Community Foundation’s vice-president of grant-making and community initiatives. “This is a reminder that we continue to see results from these grants long after the grant period, in part because they address big systemic community issues that require sustained effort to make change. We can’t always predict what those long-term results will be, but we know that the grantees are laying groundwork for them.”

“The Transformation Grant really helped make this possible,” said Ashley Velez, Humility’s executive director.

“The Community Foundation is a funder very engaged in the outcomes of this work — and not just with our project, but with other community issues, too,” said Ryan Bobst, Humility’s strategic initiatives and grant manager. “Being involved early in the planning stages is strategic for the community and gives our project credibility to move forward.”

Early on, the Transformation Grant helped bring another funder to the table — the Ryan Foundation of Omaha, Nebraska, which matched the Community Foundation’s grant and then made an even larger additional contribution. Together, the grants allowed Humility to acquire affordable housing units for ten individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and provide intensive case-management to help those individuals gain stability and reintegrate into the community in healthy ways.

The support fueled the organization’s ability, over the course of the pilot, to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness. This was critical for positioning it to earn even more funding, including the new $1 million grant, which is the only grant of its kind awarded by the Bureau of Justice Administration grant this year. According to Bobst, the ten participants in the pilot experienced a 100-percent reduction in homeless-shelter stays and an 87-percent reduction in jail stays, as well as a reduction in hospital stays. At the same time, costs to Scott County dropped $117,000 in one year because those individuals were no longer relying on those non-housing resources for their housing needs.

“We were able to show that it’s a lot less expensive to keep people stably-housed than to keep paying for that revolving door of jail, hospital, and homeless shelter,” he said. “And the anecdotal stories we’ve heard from those ten people who have been housed are just amazing. Some have experienced homelessness for years and hundreds of days in jail, and now they’re finding stability. One individual is on medication and attending services regularly; he has income now through disability as well as a part-time job for the first time in over twelve years. Those are the success stories that drive a lot of people to keep going.”

The new grant will bring the program’s total number of supportive housing units to more than 100 and allow it to reach at least forty clients, including families, each year — at least 120 individuals over the lifetime of the grant. By focusing on community members involved in the justice system, this phase of the program aims to reduce recidivism, relieving Iowa’s overburdened correctional system and helping clients achieve stability. Recent data from Iowa shows that a lack of affordable housing keeps many formerly incarcerated individuals from successfully reentering the local community.

As an effective solution for one challenge within the Quad Cities’ wider affordable-housing crisis, Humility’s expanded supportive-housing program will help build a more equitable region. “People of color are impacted by the justice system and homelessness at higher rates,” said Velez. “This program really brings to light the idea that everybody deserves a place to call home.”

“During the pandemic, we saw that the disparities and discrepancies that already existed were wrenched wider open,” Bobst added.

Humility’s research has identified more than 1,000 people in Scott County who fit a “high-need” threshold of utilizing both the jail system and homelessness system. “So, we’re excited about the accomplishments we’ve had,” said Bobst, “but the data tells us that there’s still more work to do.”


Since 2015, the Quad Cities Community Foundation has awarded nearly $1.5 million in Transformation Grants to area non-profits that are transforming the region through innovative, proactive efforts to address systemic community issues. Funds are made possible thanks to the generous donors who give to the Quad Cities Community Impact Fund, which provides annual grant support for the most pressing needs and promising opportunities in the Quad Cities region. Past Transformation Grants include:


  • Quad Cities Housing Council, for implementing the Quad Cities Affordable Housing Vision — $350,000 over three years


  • United Way of the Quad Cities Area, for the United for Equity Fund — $100,000
  • Humility Homes & Services, for reducing homelessness through more effective service systems — $100,000
  • East Moline & United Township School Districts, for bridging the digital divide for students through neighborhood Wi-Fi access — $100,000


  • Vera French Mental Health Center, for expanding Evidence-Based Supported Employment in the Quad Cities — $100,000
  • Mercado on Fifth, for year-round Mercado and Business Incubator — $100,000


  • Robert Young Center, for the Youth Suicide and Self-Harm Support Program — $100,000
  • EveryChild, for the expansion of successful Doula Program from Rock Island to Scott County — $100,000


  • Family Resources, for the Comprehensive Care Coordination Services Program — $100,000
  • Grow Quad Cities, for the Q2030 Regional Action Plan — $100,000


  • United Way of the Quad Cities, for the Born Learning Initiative — $100,000


  • SAL Family and Community Services, for opportunities for Quad Cities collaboration — $20,000
  • Quad Cities Housing Council, for Rapid Re-Housing and Homelessness Prevention — $100,000

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