Love Your Neighbor Emergency Assistance and Immigrant Fund


The Love Your Neighbor (LYN) fund provides emergency assistance to Story County families.

LYN is funded by the tithe of 3.00% of the parish collection, including envelopes, loose change and direct deposits. LYN also accepts donations from individuals, and occasional grants from other sources. Annually during Advent, the parish brings in goods from the local Fair Trade Store, Worldly Goods, to raise awareness of fair trade and as a fundraiser for Love Your Neighbor.  seven parishioners volunteer to interview those who come to the parish seeking help. The vast majority of assistance is homelessness prevention in the form of rent and utility payments.


To Qualify for Assistance

  •  A household must not have received assistance from the parish fund within the previous 12 months.
  • Appointment calls are accepted only during office hours, currently, 9am to 12noon: Tuesday and Thursday. Appointments are limited, and in order to fairly schedule appointments, voice mail messages cannot be accepted, and if left, will not be returned.
  • Applicants will be given instructions as to the process and requirements. See Requirements Below
  • For the forseeable future, no face to face interviews are being held for rent and utility assistance.The information you provide will be sent, along with the required paperwork, to an interviewer who will call applicants.  The interviewer will then return the paperwork to St. Thomas with their comments and the amount of asistance which they approved.

Rent and Utility Assistance Process 

  • Requests for assistance will be taken by phone (515-292-3810) on TUESDAY and THURSDAY only, between 9am and 12noon. 
  • We are not currently doing face to face interviews for rent and utility assistance.
  • The information you provide is sent, along with required paperwork to an interviewer who will call you. The interviewer returns the paperwork with comments and the amount of approved assistance.
  • Please Note: No application will be processed until we receive your required paperwork.

Submission of Required Paperwork.
  • Paperwork may be submitted in person or via email. If using email, we prefer the paperwork is sent as a PDF document. If you are sending by e-mail the following requirements apply:
  • In all submissions, documents must be vertical Files or photos must show the complete document and be readable. Documents not meeting the requirements will be rejected and your application will be held up until we receive proper documents
  • Paper copies must be delivered to the St. Thomas Aquinas parish office at 2210 Lincoln Way during normal office hours.
Paperwork needed for rental assistance
1. Story County Community Services
  • Story County Community Services offices are closed to the public, but still operating. Call them and they will tell you their process. Phone: 515-663-2930
2. A copy of your lease showing your name and signature.
3. Documentation from your landlord with the following information
  • Landlord’s name and address Your name, your address Amount of rent past due
Paperwork needed for utility assistance
1. Story County Community Services
  • Story County Community Services offices are closed. Call them and they will tell you their process. Phone: 515-663-2930
2. Mid-Iowa Community Action Agency (MICA)
  • Phone: 515-956-3333
3. A copy of your past due utility bill
  • All assistance checks are sent directly to landlords or utility companies.

For more information about the program or how to volunteer, contact



COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Story County Immigrants

LYN also works together with this Emergency Fund to provide help with rent and utilities for immigrants living in Story County. More information is available for donors, English-speaking applicants, and ellos que hablan Espanol.   

September 27, 2021 Announcement of Transition Plan for Immigrant Fund

The Fund Steering Committee, after 18 months of operation, has decided to transition from paying rent and utilities to advocacy for immigrants. The Fund has raised and distributed more than $600,000 thus far and will continue to distribute funds until December 31, 2021 or until funds are exhausted. At that point any unused funds will go to Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance (GNEA), an organization that has been a tremendous partner in this effort since the beginning. Any funds they receive through us will be granted using the same criteria we have used. We will continue to depend on you for support if we are to reach December as the current reserve will be exhausted in early October without additional contributions. Please read the full letter for details and many thanks for the support of STA individual donors, the STA Social Justice grants, and the partnership with Love Your Neighbor.

Previous Reports on Immigrant Fund Activity

An October 2020 report on the activity of the fund since its inception in April 2020 and thank you to STA parishioners is in the October Fund Report.

2020 Year-End Summary and How to Contribute

As you consider your giving, we urge you to make a tax-deductible donation to the Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Story County Immigrants. This Fund has raised an astonishing $194,000 since its inception in March 2020 thanks to the generosity of over 350 individuals and institutions. But, we have allocated almost all of these dollars given sustained need among immigrant households. (We have allocated $181,000 through 468 rent and utility payments to 12/17/20!) Your donations will help us keep immigrant households from eviction. Please donate today!

Option 1: Write a check to St. Cecilia, 2900 Hoover Avenue, Ames, IA 50010. Please write “Covid Immigrant Fund” in the memo line

Option 2: Make an online contribution through GoFundMe:  (Please note, GoFundMe contributions will receive an email confirmation but not a letter for tax-purposes.)


Resources to learn more about our work:

·        Ames Tribune feature article:

·        KCCI television feature:

·        KHOI radio piece (starting at 16:20):


Thank you! Gracias! Shukra Lek! Yin aca leec!