March 2022

Have you thought about the kids?

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Did you know more than five million children across the U.S. have had a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives? Children with an incarcerated parent are typically younger than 10 and living in low-income families. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more than 15% of kids with parents in federal prison and more than 20% of kids with parents in state prison are four or younger. 

Children who have an incarcerated parent are more likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods. Losing a parent who provides half of a family’s income can create a heavy financial and emotional burden. This can lead to a lack of quality affordable housing, moving around from family to family, and feelings of chaos, disconnection, and mistrust. 

Take a moment to think about the generational impact of incarceration on a four-year-old. What might life look like for them in the next 20 years? Statistics show it will be significantly harder for them to experience health and wellness than their peers who didn’t have an incarcerated parent.

"Being incarcerated put a toll on my family due to the

distance and the changes being made that they don't

see." -Current Client

More than half of the women in Iowa’s prisons are non-violent offenders and most struggle with mental illness and substance abuse. Programs like The Beacon are here to help Iowa’s parents recover and heal, so they can reunite with their children and work toward ending the generational cycles of poverty, substance use, homelessness, and incarceration.

Parental incarceration breaks up families and creates a number of challenges for children, with the most devastating impacts on their development and well-being. Together, we can support even more Iowa families. Will you help by setting up a recurring donation here?

In this together,

Melissa Vine, MA, LMHC

Executive Director

Building our Resources with Courageous Fire

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We’re excited to partner with Courageous Fire, LLC., an organization that trains the friends, family, community, and mainstream systems that touch the Black woman domestic violence victim-survivor.

“Because Black women domestic violence survivors may also be homeless, recovering from alcohol or substance abuse, or re-entering society after incarceration, it’s crucial that [these services] are accessible to them where they are.” -Courageous Fire, CEO

Courageous Access has begun partnering with The Beacon to facilitate “Empowerment through the Arts” - an interactive program that deep dives into the issues surrounding domestic violence specifically for Black women. If you would like to provide financial support specifically for this program, please email Melissa at or mention it in your notes when you donate online here.


Investing in our mission

At The Beacon, we never lose sight of our mission and always seek to maximize the social impact of donor dollars. That’s why we’ve taken steps to align our financial investments with our mission. We recently partnered with Clinton Akerberg at Wealth Consulting Group to ensure that our endowment fund is invested in companies that align with The Beacon’s mission and values.

Our investment portfolio now prioritizes social responsibility. We are now investing in companies that practice gender parity in hiring and on their Boards, advance affordable housing, and pursue equity. 

Do you want to add to our endowment fund to help women across Iowa and socially responsible companies as well? Simply type “endowment fund” in the note section of your donation (or put it on your check memo if mailing):

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Pass It On!

Please forward this newsletter to those who might be interested in our work at The Beacon. They can sign up at the bottom of our homepage (here) to start receiving it themselves. It's a great way to send some support our way!

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(515) 244-4713 l 1717 Woodland Ave. Des Moines, IA 50309 |