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A Downsizing Success

Back in 2010, Robert and Kaylinn Murphy bought their home. By utilizing HOME, Inc’s program, they received grants that covered 28% of the cost of the house! In the time that you are utilizing our aid, we also provide education about home buying as well as counseling services to ensure a smooth homebuying process.

In the time between when HOME Inc. bought the home and when Robert and Kaylinn bought it from HOME, Inc., the assessed value of the house increased by 3.5%. In the past 9 years since they bought it, the assessed value has increased by 1.6%. 

The Murphy’s are both retired and love the minimum amount of work that is required on the house. Most other houses in their price range require a lot of fixing up. There is only one level of the house as well so they don’t have to worry about stairs. The neighborhood and land were also perfect for their needs. 

They love the country feel, but are still very close to everything they could need. They are able to get to work out in the garden and yet, have plenty of space for their dogs to run.

“We are very grateful and thankful [for HOME Inc.]” 

And we are so happy to have been able to help them!


Having a beautifully decorated home like ones pictured in Home and Gardens is an aspiration of many. But it isn’t always super realistic. Costs of decorating a home can burn a hole through your wallet! So here, we’ve gathered the best inexpensive DIY home decor projects you can try!

1. Chalkboard Wall Paint
Putting up chalkboard anywhere you can paint is a great way to indulge in creativity! It works great for kitchens and kids rooms. The paint is also magnetic so that creates twice the fun!

2. Gold Flower Pots
Give your home a luxury look by spray painting normal, ordinary flower pots a metallic gold.

Have children? Make an activity out of this and have them paint a pot!

3. Personalized Canvas
Why pay for expensive artwork on canvas when you can do it yourself? Make boring walls more personalized by writing quotes, drawing flowers, anything you want! 

4. Chic Cabinet Tray
Have old cabinets sitting around collecting dust? Well just grab some paint and a pair of drawer pulls to become the perfect cheese board or TV dinner tray! Holes in the board? No problem! Use some wood filler and you’re all good to go!

5. Coin Bank
Did you just run out of Clorox wipes? If so, grab it, rinse it out, and start filling it with coins! Label it “Fun Money” or anything you want and start saving!

6. Ruffle Accent Lamp
Use a hot glue gun, old lamp, and linen fabric to create a cute addition to your home!

8. Brass Tacks
Pushing patterns of tacks into the sides of a table or a chair can create an eye catching accent piece! 

9. Organization
Have candle jars you’ve already burned through? Just rinse them out and reuse them! Organize your stationary! Use it to put your car keys in when you walk through the front door! You can use jars for anything!

10. Rearrange the Furniture 
Do you want a change but don’t know exactly what you want to do? Try rearranging the room! Sometimes it’s easy the get burnt out on the same layout for a long period of time. Try switching it up and move things around!

There are so many more things you can do to create cute home decor yourself! All you have to do is look for inspiration. Getting creative can be an adventure! So go on and try these things out! Let us know how it goes with #HomeIncDIY ! Good luck and happy crafting!

A Promising Partnership with Wells Fargo

On Friday, September 20th Wells Fargo held the first-ever Wells Fargo National Day of Service in Central Iowa, with massive success. More than 1,000 team members volunteered in the community, which is roughly 1/14 of their Central Iowa employee base. With the help of United Way of Central Iowa’s volunteer coordination, Wells Fargo was able to have a transformational impact on the community we call home.

HOME, Inc. was one of the lucky organizations chosen as a volunteer site. Though our building is only 10 years old and we have only been here for the last 2 years, our exterior needed a facelift. The trim was rotting, paint was chipping and there were tons of scratches on the metal awnings and railings. Wells Fargo provided two groups of volunteers, 12 for the morning shift and 15 for the afternoon shift. They worked through the heat under the hot sun with the most positive attitudes. All of the volunteers were willing to jump in and help where needed. As we wrapped up the painting in the afternoon the second shift asked for more work. So naturally, we got the chainsaw out and started hacking away at some trees and bushes that had become overgrown. Every one of the volunteers was dedicated to making this Day of Service a success for HOME, Inc.!

In addition to providing volunteers, Wells Fargo leaders made their rounds to the various organizations to present each of us with a giant $5,000 cardboard check. (Side note, does the bank accept these giant checks for deposit? Asking for a friend…) 

But our partnership does not stop there. We worked together during the 2018-2019 Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program to help 262 families become homeowners. HOME, Inc. provided the required homeownership education and counseling for families to qualify for Wells Fargo’s down payment assistance. 

Wells Fargo has also committed to being a lead sponsor for our 1st Annual Hunt for Housing event that will be held Wednesday, October 23rd at West End Salvage from 5:30-7:30 pm. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased here: 

Our sincerest thanks to Wells Fargo and their commitment to HOME, Inc. and helping overcome the affordable housing crisis in our community. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Wells Fargo to help families find and keep their HOME!

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

We have all heard the saying, teamwork makes the dream work, right? Well, that saying takes on a whole new meaning with the work we do. We are constantly working with partner agencies to help resolve client issues. We rely on other organizations’ expertise and resources to help our clients reach their goals. 

We are lucky to live in a city with great non-profit organizations who deeply care about our community. Now, since school is back in session and we are back into the swing of things we are going to give you a quiz to see how well you know Des Moines nonprofits? Ready, Set, Go!!

1. Our first nonprofit has greatly helped HOME, Inc. They established and run the Hope for Stable Families program, fund the Community Housing Services Program for HOME, Inc. They bring individuals and organizations together to make change in our community. Their three pillars for 2020 are income, education, and health. 
2. This organization helps us communicate and connect with the whole community, regardless of language with their 24/7 international hotline for landlords and tenants! 
3. HOME, Inc. can help, but we are not lawyers, and cannot give legal advice. But this organization does! They help with landlord/tenant issues and foreclosure prevention.
4. Housing is a complicated subject. We only have so many specialties. This organization helps with electricity and power issues within rental units. Plus, we have the same taste in office buildings! When we moved offices in 2017, we moved into their old office!
5. HOME, Inc.’s goal is to empower families to create housing stability. This program’s primary intention is to address the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
6. This organization does a lot of research and provides incredible information about affordable housing in Des Moines and Iowa. They initiate the affordable housing week in Des Moines, along with the Can I Be Your Neighbor design challenge in which our own executive director, Pam Carmichael, is a judge!
7. This organization is one we talk about a lot, as they are another major funder for HOME, Inc. and provide a lot of information and standards for our programs. They give us resources for Affordable Housing Month. All of our counselors are certified by this organization.
8. This organization helps fund our homeless prevention program. They provide grants for down payment assistance, affordable mortgages, and other loans and resources that both homeowners and renters can apply and educate themselves about. 
9. This organization provides lending programs and other services to facilitate neighborhood revitalization. We work with them to provide additional funding for our homeownership clients. 

The Answers (you are so excited, I know!!):
1. United Way, learn more
2. Iowa International Center, learn more
3. Iowa Legal Aid, learn more
4. IMPACT Community Action Partnership, learn more
5. Centralized Intake, learn more
6. Polk County Housing Trust Fund, learn more
7. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), learn more
8. Iowa Finance Authority, learn more
9. Neighborhood Finance Corporation, learn more