Starting School with a Bash
Riddles and clues led shelter youth to locations throughout the city earlier this week for a back-to-school scavenger hunt.

The kids visited the Iowa State Capitol, Gray's Lake Park, and other popular locations. They checked each place off their list, while also learning about different resources in the community.

“Some of the riddles were tricky. We did that on purpose," said Lindi Makohoniuk, YESS’ Artist in Residence. "We want the kids to stretch their brains before the tough work starts in the classroom.”

“The kids loved going to all the locations, especially the Botanical Garden. It was a fun and unique way to get the kids out and about in the community,” said Courtney, a Resident Advisor who went on the hunt with the Crisis Nursery kids.

At the end of the hunt, everyone celebrated with a grill out. "The kids had a blast start to finish. It was a great way to engage the entire shelter. I can't wait to see it continue in the years to come," said Lindi.
Girls Helping Girls

Kids in shelter make bags, pillows, and other items during our weekly sewing group. This month, they used their sewing skills to help others!

The teen and preteen girls collaborated with a local Days for Girls chapter in Des Moines to create feminine hygiene kits . This international organization provides the kits to girls around the world.

"We were so excited to partner with Days for Girls and to work alongside Nicole and Krys," shared Jana Daisy, YESS' Community Activities Manager. "This experience was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the world and challenges other young ladies face. The kids helped others while using skills they've learned."
Yoga Supports
Trauma Survivors

Yoga is more than just stretching; it’s a combination of movement, focused breathing, and purposeful attention. While yoga has been around for thousands of years, Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) has recently gained popularity because of the many benefits for trauma survivors.   Melissa, one of our newest Hope Hall Counselors, uses TSY with her clients and shared more about the benefits of using yoga in therapy.

Many trauma survivors struggle with poor self-esteem and self-awareness. Others have challenges with impulse control, reduced attention span, or have trouble managing their emotions due to the trauma they've experienced. These issues can sometimes be challenging to address in traditional therapy, but yoga promotes mindfulness, relaxation, and control over ones body, making it a great tool for individuals experiencing these challenges.

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga can easily become a part of therapy sessions. It allows participants to use yoga to regain control and have choices during the practice. Research has shown that TSY can help reduce symptoms of the trauma, cultivate self-acceptance, and help clients to better handle their emotions. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from the use of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, call 515-557-2256 or simply fill out the form on our Hope Hall Counseling page.  
Team YESS Shout Outs
Thank you to Lutheran Church of Hope, Des Moines Parent, and everyone else who donated school supplies for the kids we serve! A new backpack, notebook, and other school supplies make all the difference for the children we serve. Thank you for making this time of year a little less stressful for the kids in shelter as well as the families we serve in the community.

Thank you to the Walmart Foundation for supporting YESS' Emergency Shelter Meals program. Providing healthy and nutritious food to kids in shelter not only gives them the energy they need, but it allows them to focus on their healing journeys.
Providing safety, shelter, and care to up to 54 kids a day takes a team. That's why we are so grateful to have the Anthem Foundation on Team YESS, making sure kids have a place to turn when they need it most!
Play it Forward for Kids in Crisis!
Thank you to Space Simply for returning as the Human Foosball League 2018 Presenting Sponsor, as well as to our other wonderful partners!

Only a few spots remain for this one-of-a-kind fundraising event! Has your team registered yet? The tournament takes place on Friday, Sept. 28, and you don't want to miss it. Register today!

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