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CISS unveils a new innovative mobile app

CISS unveils a new innovative mobile app


Des Moines, IA (May 6, 2024)—Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS) unveiled its latest innovation in the fight against homelessness and food insecurity at the annual Heroes for Homeless fundraising event on May 2, 2024, at the Hilton Downtown Des Moines.

The event kicked off with the recognition of local individuals and organizations who have stepped up as heroes for those in need:

  • Iowa Total Care – For its philanthropic contributions to CISS’ innovative initiatives through the Centene Foundation.
  • John’s Lutheran Church – For long-time dedication to serving the homeless community and unwavering support in CISS’ community kitchen.
  • Bob Stewart – For his invaluable support as a volunteer and champion for CISS throughout his personal network and the greater Des Moines community.
  • Scott Sanders – For years of service within the Des Moines community for supporting food insecurity and affordable housing.

Following the awards, CISS unveiled its latest innovation: a mobile application known as Bindl.

The app was designed to address specific challenges individuals and communities face due to Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). The project leverages CISS’ collective insights and experiences on this topic to deliver a modern prevention tool for those facing homelessness and food insecurity. The app is meant to be contextually relevant, culturally sensitive, and emotionally resonant to those experiencing homelessness.

The app’s functions include the ability to create a profile, connect with a case manager, and track goals. It also features a stability tracker, Community Connect events and opportunities updates, and a resource directory for accessing local housing, food, medical care, and other services available through CISS and statewide partnering organizations.

When services can be deployed to those in need at the right time, they can access resources along the housing assistance continuum before becoming unhoused.

“What we were finding is people were leaving rural Iowa to seek resources in Des Moines,” said CISS CEO Melissa O’Neil. “What the Bindl™ app will allow us to do is provide critical resources in times and places of need to help prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.”

The app was developed with the assistance of CISS’ Lived Coalition, which is made up of individuals who have experienced homelessness, food insecurity, and other major challenges.

“Navigating the system can be difficult, and that’s something we’ve heard a lot from our lived coalition,” said O’Neil. “We’re trying to bring more transparency to the process so people can check the app and see exactly what part of the process they’re in when it comes to receiving critical documents, approval for housing, and so on.”

Bindl™, which was developed in partnership with twopoint0, is funded in part by Iowa Total Care and the Centene Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Centene Corporation.

Heroes for Homeless was made possible through generous sponsorships, including Platinum Level sponsors Iowa Farm Bureau, Nationwide, and Iowa Total Care.

Those interested in getting involved with CISS and its mission can view volunteer opportunities, donate, or check out upcoming fundraising events.

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