Ellipsis is proud to announce renovations on a Des Moines facility that, once completed, will feature 12 efficiency apartments for youth ages 16 to 21. This supervised apartment living program is one of a kind in the state and will better serve youth as they look to transition into independence.

As a youth services and shelter organization serving nearly 600 central Iowa kids and their families daily, our organization already provides transitional living programs that help youth learn to live independently while still having the full support of Ellipsis’ team. However, this new facility and program will greatly improve the supervised apartment living program.

Ellipsis and most supervised apartment living service providers have several youth share common spaces like a kitchen, living room and bathroom. This style doesn’t help youth learn to live independently the way they will in a year or two when they move into their own space.

“With the new efficiency apartments, our youth will be in a much-improved physical space with more room to enjoy and some more privacy to invite a friend over,” said Chris Koepplin, Ellipsis CEO. “They’ll be able to take more pride in their surroundings and be better set up to succeed when they sign their first apartment lease on their own. Making do with patch-worked facilities does not help our youth feel valued and does not inspire them to reach their goals.”

Ellipsis is able to serve 12 youth through this program, which expands residential programming. This improvement has been a priority since Youth Homes of Mid-America and Youth Emergency Services & Shelter first merged in 2021.

“We have an obligation to provide support, guidance and the proper skillsets teens will need to be successful after transitioning out of our care, and this expansion will help do that,”

Chris Koepplin

The organization looks to make the most of resources by transforming existing underutilized space into these improved efficiency-style apartments, made possible by a grant from Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office distributed through the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Nonprofit Innovation Fund. Ellipsis was awarded $1.8 million in grant funds to renovate the building. The organization is utilizing another $300,000 in private donations to fund the project.

Ellipsis anticipates construction being completed in late November, but this is only one of many projects on the horizon.

“We have a bold vision for central Iowa, and we’re always looking to do whatever we can to provide a complete continuum of care for kids and families in our community so they have consistent, compassionate and familiar care for all of their needs,” Koepplin said. “We have more renovations and program expansions on our short list, and we thank the community in advance for their support. This is the kind of space our youth deserve to live in and will thrive in.”

If you’re interested in supporting Ellipsis’ mission, you can make a one-time contribution or a recurring donation here.

When construction is complete, Ellipsis will look to provide youth with starter kits containing small household appliances, electronics, pots and pans, dishes, silverware and kitchen utensils, personal hygiene items, household cleaning supplies and more. Those who want to donate items for the starter kits can email Zach Rus, Ellipsis engagement director, at zach.rus@ellipsisiowa.org.