The Muscatine Center for Social Action is a non-profit organization that was established in 1991 to help meet the social needs of the Muscatine area. MCSA was formed to make a difference in the quality of life in Muscatine. Specifically, the following unmet needs were identified: housing, poverty, family/domestic violence, barriers to service availability, substance use, and discrimination.
Since the beginning, MCSA has continuously worked to establish programs and lay the groundwork for improving lives in the Muscatine area. Later in 2000, MCSA reworked its mission to focus on providing services that would potentially improve the quality of life of those it served. The programs and projects refocused to the mission of helping Muscatine-area homeless and at-risk of homelessness get back on their feet through the expansion of case management, along with a focus on skill development and personal responsibility.
The goal of the homeless prevention program is to provide aid and support to individuals and families nearing homelessness. The homeless prevention program offers numerous services, which include case management, rental and utility assistance, rental arrears, rental and utility deposits, employment assistance, education assistance, and other general support that could be used to prevent homelessness in an individual or family.
Through the homeless prevention program, the MCSA was able to keep 385 men, women, and children stably housed in 2020. Of those 385, 181 of them were children. Without stable housing, other needs are not being met for these individuals and families. A solid ground is needed to build anything on, and without stable housing nothing can be built up.
Individuals and families lacking stable housing worry about how they are going to pay the rent this month, when their utilities are going to be disconnected, how are they going to afford dinner tomorrow, and so many other worries that arise when they lack a stable living situation. The homeless prevention program is able to help stabilize those individuals and families to become self-sufficient and obtain or maintain stable housing.