Seth Johnson

Seth Johnson

Seth Johnson is the former program director of OpportUNITY.

Recent Posts

Apr 17, 2019 9:15:08 AM

Central Iowa partnership launches Housing Interpretation Hotline

A 24/7 Housing Interpretation Hotline has been launched to connect central Iowa landlords with residents who have language barriers. The effort is led by OpportUNITY’s New Iowans work group in partnership with the Iowa International Center, U.S. Committee for Refugee and Immigrants, HOME Inc., Polk County Health Department, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Bureau of Refugee Services.

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Jan 9, 2019 2:26:44 PM

11 ways you can fight poverty in central Iowa

Poverty seems like an impossible problem to solve. Many barriers prevent individuals from achieving financial stability, and the solutions seem just as puzzling. 

Yet, there is something we all can do. It starts by asking this one questionHow can I help? 

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Jun 6, 2018 9:44:29 PM

10 facts you should know about poverty in central Iowa

One in three central Iowans doesn't earn enough to cover basic expenses without support. Many struggle to find enough food to eat or a place to sleep at night, while others manage by piecing together jobs and support. Yet, they are one flat tire or one emergency room visit away from crisis.

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Feb 15, 2018 4:20:33 PM

Why hire someone with a criminal record?

Nearly every individual in prison today will eventually return to our community. Most are eager to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term financial stability, but they need support in finding a new path. 

"If you don't do it for the people, do it for your family," says Brett Reyes, workforce advisor with Iowa Workforce Development, who helps those in prison build skills for future jobs. Supporting those who leave prison makes our communities safer by reducing the likelihood that they will commit another crime, and it makes our community stronger as more individuals move out of poverty. 

Yet there are many barriers someone convicted of a crime faces when they return to our community, including finding affordable housing, connecting with a supportive community, accessing transportation or regaining a driver's license. Iowa ranks among the worst—37th out of 51 states (including District of Columbia)—for the number of barriers in place for ex-offenders. 

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Nov 16, 2017 4:06:07 PM

3 Youth Career Readiness Programs in Des Moines

Youth in central Iowa, particularly those living in poverty, are much more likely to graduate high school and earn more money throughout their lives if they’re well prepared to succeed from the start. According to the Urban Institute, over a third of youth contribute over 20% of the total annual income of their households, and one tenth contribute over 50%. 

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Oct 27, 2017 4:00:25 PM

The Food Issue No One Talks About

In central Iowa, we are surrounded by food. In farm fields, in supermarkets, in a thriving restaurant scene we are justifiably proud to brag about. But we are also surrounded by hunger. And that's something we don't talk about. Something many of us don't event know about.

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Apr 19, 2017 11:01:22 AM

5 Things You Need to Know About Affordable Housing

Finding affordable housing is a barrier for many central Iowans working toward achieving financial stability. As a result, many low-income residents are spending most of their income on rent and forgoing many essential needs, such as food and medical care. Many are only one crisis away from becoming homeless.

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