In 1973, Don and I were introduced to a newly formed organization, Iowa Runway Service. This organization evolved to meet a need recognized by a small group of community leaders and local social service agencies. To our shock, it was to help provide counsel and shelter for youth in need of immediate assistance from dysfunctional and troubled families in dire situations. These perilous situations created harm, both emotionally and physically, to young children and adolescents. Many young people were fleeing, choosing to face the unknown rather than what was happening in their homes. We were unaware this problem existed within our community.

Don was quick to join the Iowa Runaway board, and within a year we purchased the first home to give shelter to those children in need of a safe place to live. While the need — and our commitment to the youth — have endured over the last 51 years, so many other elements surrounding the issue have evolved. The organization transitioned to Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) and is now Ellipsis, a newly formed organization merging YESS and Youth Homes of Mid-America. Ellipsis has added dimension and depth to the services addressing the many needs of youth and families within our state. 

We hope you will help us continue to support and provide these essential services. Our youth depend on us to lead and guide them to a bright and productive future.

Thank you, 
Margo and Don Blumenthal
Honorary Chairs, Ellipsis Hopeful Spaces Campaign

Five years ago, 27 facilities across the state were available for youth to stay in shelters, foster group care and supervised apartment living beds. Now, only 17 of those facilities still exist in our state, meaning kids and teens have to travel further for the care they need.

In the previous five years, Iowans have lost more than 230 foster group care beds (the highest level of care) across the state. With fewer youth being served in these settings, the acuity of their needs is much higher, significantly increasing the level of care required.

Ellipsis is the ONLY organization in the state that offers emergency shelter, foster group care and supervised apartment living — regardless of gender!

Ellipsis cannot address the needs of these vulnerable kids without increasing the capacity of our facilities. Below you will find exactly what our plans are.

South campus: Programs

  • Emergency Shelter
  • Supervised Apartment Living

South campus: BUDGEt

  • Total cost: $2,384,325
  • Cluster SAL apartment construction: $2,259,325
  • Cluster SAL apartment furnishings: $125,000

Park campus: Programs

  • Foster Group Care
  • Additional future residential services to be determined.

Park campus: Budget

  • Total cost: $225,000
  • Kitchen remodel: $12,000
  • Paint, carpet and doors throughout: $98,000
  • Equipment: $14,000
  • Driveway repair: $30,000
  • Furniture: $41,000
  • Beds: $30,000

Meredith campus: Programs

  • Foster Group Care
  • Supervised Apartment Living

Meredith campus: Budget

  • Total cost: $4,730,000
  • Building purchase: $1,250,000
  • Demolition: $20,000
  • Building renovations: $2,960,000
  • Equipment, furnishings, etc.: $450,000
  • Site enhancements — sidewalk; trees: $50,000

NORTH campus: Programs

  • Foster Group Care
  • Supervised Apartment Living

North campus: BUDGEt

  • Total cost: $7,460,930
  • New building: 12 QRTP beds and 8 SAL apartments: $5,020,930

  • Grubb: Convert to 16 beds; insert additional unit; reposition entry and access sequencing; roof: $800,000

  • Sargent: Split into 2 units with 4 beds each for 8 beds total; move lounge to ground floor; add bathrooms/room; roof: $1,015,000

  • Ross: Add 4 bathrooms so each room has its own; reconfigure as needed; HVAC: $625,000

For more information, contact:

Chris Koepplin
Ellipsis Chief Executive Officer
C: 515.243.3459

Chris Andersen
Ellipsis Chief Philanthropy Officer
C: 515.291.0032