Finding Patience Through Art
The artwork above was created by Michael*, a teenage boy that has lived in YESS' emergency shelter for four months. 

When Michael first came to stay in shelter, he was struggling to cope with experiences in his past. H e had very few people he could count on during his first years of life, which left him feeling angry , frustrated, and often turning to aggression. Working with our Music Therapist, Art Therapist, and other staff at YESS, however, he began exploring new ways to deal with these feelings.

Michael is now working on this piece of art during Art Therapy sessions, and it reflects many of the challenges he is working to overcome. The subject is Kodak Black - a rapper that, like Michael, has been involved in gangs in the past. The medium he chose - paint on canvas - is reflective of the work he's doing now to find a better future.

"Painting on canvas is one of the most time-consuming and challenging mediums to work in," said Madi Musson, YESS Art Therapist.  "First he had to find a picture. Then draw it on sketch paper. Then transfer it to canvas. Now he's learning to mix paint colors . "

The hard work and patience he is showing in the art studio is just like the hard work and patience he's applying to other areas of his life. "A project like this can be very frustrating, and he has struggled to deal with frustrations in the past," said Madi. "Watching him patiently go through each phase has been awesome to see."

During his time at YESS, Michael has made so much progress in his coping skills and continues finding healthy ways to deal with the challenges life has given him. T hanks to all the progress he has made over the last few months, he will soon move into a safe and permanent home.

Do you want to help kids like Michael find healing through art? Check out our Art Therapy Wish List or make a donation to support our mission!

*name and some characteristics changed to protect child's identity
It's Time to Play it Forward!

Do you have what it takes to compete in the fourth annual YESS Human Foosball League tournament, presented by Space Simply?

What: Teams will compete on life-sized foosball courts, moving side-to-side in order to score goals and advance to the championship round. A tailgating atmosphere, team uniform competitions, live music, and networking opportunities are all in store for participants and partnering organizations.

When: Friday, September 29th from 12:30-5:30pm

Where: A warehouse in the Des Moines metro will be transformed into our Human Foosball arena! The final location will be announced soon.

Why: To provide safety and care to kids in our community. To date, this event has raised nearly $50,000 to keep children in our community safe. 

Learn More: Get all the details on our registration page. You can also check out photos and video from last year's event.

Spots are limited to the first 30 teams who sign up. 

Thank You to Our Event Partners

Presenting Sponsor

Courtside Sponsors

Game Day Sponsors
PDM Precast
R&R Realty

Tabletop Sponsors & Additional Support
Iowa Pork Producers Association - Confluence  Brewing Co. 
Full Court Press -  Pepsi Co.

Learning Skills & H aving Fun   

Sewing a pillow. Catching a big fish. Doing the perfect yoga pose. Kids in shelter are learning fun skills like this in our new elective summer classes.

These optional classes provide children and teens with the opportunity to learn a new skill during their time in shelter. Other classes available include crochet, fitness and conditioning, learning to play guitar, and frisbee golf. 

Each class is led by a different staff member at YESS who has a passion for that hobby. From our Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, to our Music Therapist, to our Resident Advisors, many members of Team YESS are stepping up to help the kids learn something new.

Do you have a special talent or skill you could teach to kids at YESS? In the coming months, we would love to add more classes and opportunities for the kids to learn! Contact our Community Activities Manager or visit our Volunteer Page to learn more.

Contact Jana Daisy, Community Activities Manager, at or 515-282-9377 prior to dropping off in-kind donations at the shelter.

Upcoming Events
What Where When
Gilroy's Brunch & Benefit
Enjoy a delicious brunch at this West Des Moines restaurant and 10% of proceeds will be donated back to the kids at YESS

1238 8th St, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
August 12th
United Way Day of Action
YESS will once again participate in this community-wide day of service and volunteering

918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 Sept. 12th 3-5pm
Human Foosball League
Join one of the most unique events in town to help kids in shelter find safety and hope
TBD - a warehouse in the Des Moines metro Sept. 29th, 12:30-5:30pm

918 SE 11th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309  |  515.282.9377 |