Warming Shelter is Up and Going....

An idea...a goal...a reality...It became a reality on January 6, 2020.

Waterloo Warming Center opened to serve those that are living unsheltered here in the Cedar Valley.  It serves those that are living in places like their vehicles, vacant buildings, under the bridge, and that have exhausted their days at the overnight shelters here.


This has been a dream come true for those that had no place to go at night...

Lives have literally been saved this winter. We are a low barrier shelter, serving those that have substance abuse issues, possibly coming intoxicated or "high" to the shelter.  Our rule is that they are welcome as long as they don't create a threat or issue for the other guests or volunteer staff.


Our warming center is open every night from  m 8 p.m. til 7 a.m. the next morning.  There is no limit to the number of times a guest may utilize the shelter.  We will be open until  March 31, 2020.

Having been open for 46 days as of this posting, we have served over 38 NEW people.  These are people that would have been outside this winter.

We have cots, sleeping bags, blankets, mats and pillows for each guest.  We serve hot chocolate and snack items at night.  In the morning before leaving, guests are given a breakfast bag with a "to-go" meal.

Guests are given an opportunity to make an appointment with a homeless case out-reach worker to access other services if they so desire.

We are so grateful for Jubilee Freedom Center for allowing us the use of their facility during the month of January and for Hawkeye Community College for allowing us to have their old Metro Campus on W. 4th for February and March for the warming center.


#GIVEMONDAY May 20, 2019

We are in our 10th year of service here in the Cedar Valley. Serving the marginalized and the homeless....

Homelessness is not a warm and fuzzy topic...

We are asking you to help us begin as we start celebrating this year with a #GIVEMONDAY

Monday, May 20, 2019 we are asking you to FLOOD our mailbox with envelopes with donations...No donation is too small.

$3 buys a roundtrip bus ride
$15 buys a 11 -ride bus ticket
$50 buys food for a meal for 25-30 guests
$150 pays phone and internet
$110 pays cable for a month
$250 pays water bill for 3 months
$325 pays utilities for a month
$30 buys a tent for someone unsheltered this summer
$300 pays a year of rent for someone in a Zero-income apartment program

Please be generous with your donations as we begin celebrating our ten years of service. Thank you for being a part of our village of support.

Please mail contributions to:
Hospitality House
1003 Mulberry St.
Waterloo, IA 50703

Your donations are tax deductible. We are a 501c3 charitable entity.

The Plight of a Homeless Person

This poem was written by one of our previous guests a few years ago....I wanted to share it...it speaks of the "Invisible" people that the homeless become.

Warming Shelter On The Horizon.....

Exciting news from here...we have formed a committee to look at the possibility of having an Emergency Warming Shelter here in the Cedar Valley for this coming winter 2019-20 to ensure that no one is on the streets at night during the cold winter months.

Most large cities have warming shelters/centers and it's time that the Cedar Valley has a plan in place for those cold winter nights.

We are looking at lots of options but we are committed to having a place that people are able to access during the night-time hours to be safe and warm during those cold nights. This would serve those that are staying in their vehicles, vacant buildings, walking around all night...

The day after the polar vortex hit this year, we were swamped here at Hospitality House with guests that had been out in the elements for whatever reason (ours is not to judge), some had frostbite, many did not have warm clothing...it was after this that we began thinking that we needed to be prepared for next winter.

We will keep everyone updated on the progress...

Homeless and Hunger Week

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is an annual program where people come together across the country to draw attention to the challenges of hunger and homelessness. Participating groups spend the week holding a series of educational, service, fundraising, and advocacy events. No one should have to worry about whether they will have food on their plate or a roof over their head. The reality is that hunger and homelessness are widespread problems and affect far too many people.

Purchase a Sandwich of the Day at Lincoln Perks in Downtown Waterloo and $1 will be donated to Hospitality House.

Add a donation to your tab at Figaro, Figaro in Downtown Cedar Falls to support the mission of the Hospitality House.

Be generous.  Know that your generosity is appreciated and helps many.

November 2017


In the past year, Hospitality House has

  • Served over 13,000 meals to homeless and marginalized
  • Handed out several hundred bus tickets to the homeless
  • Handed out socks, backpacks, personal care products, clothing items, shoes and boots
  • Gave away dozens of pairs of new work boots to those getting jobs
  • Gave away 30 sleeping bags and tents
  • Sponsored a coat drive and warm clothing and blanket giveaway
  • Helped facilitate bus tickets/gas money for people to get back home that are stranded in the Cedar Valley
  • Facilitated a Food Sack Program to supplement monthly food sources

We work hand in hand with several other agencies in the Cedar Valley to help those that are in a homeless situation become sustainable again.

Your donation provides us the opportunity to continue to give our guests HOPE in your name helping provide that dignity that is deserving by everyone.

We are asking for donations to our Heart Full of HOPE campaign....Your generosity helps our guests transition from homeless to sustainable. 

Thanking you for participating in Heart Full of HOPE…  

Join us for our Brazilian2Wins Fundraiser on July 1, 2018....lots of fun and great music, silent auction and food.....

Plus, an added bonus...Ms. Emmy Hewitt will be performing several songs...opening for the Brazilian2Wins....our local talent...don't miss this!

July 1, 2018

Black's Building

5 - 7:30 p.m.

Silent auction, food and great music...

Tickets....call 234-1311

Heart Full of HOPE Campaign

HOPE for the marginalized…hope for those in a homeless situation to know and understand that there is the ability to become an integral part of society again.
HOPE is defined as an optimistic attitude that is based on positive outcome related to circumstances in one’s life. 

We are asking you to participate by making a donation to the Heart full of HOPE Campaign. 
Since July 1, 2017, we have served over 13,000 meals to those in a homeless situation here in the Cedar Valley, handed out countless bus tickets, backpacks, socks, personal care items, food bags, shoes and boots. We also give out sleeping bags and tents. 
This winter we have given away hundreds of pairs of gloves, coats and blankets to help keep the marginalized warm. 
Your donation provides us the opportunity to continue to give our guests HOPE in your name.
This past Saturday evening when we were hosting an evening meal here at Hospitality House, we had a gentleman come in that was literally freezing to death. He was living under one of the bridges downtown. We were able to give him fresh, clean clothing, a blanket, sleeping bag, personal care items, gloves (which he had NONE when he came) and provide a resource for two nights in a hotel besides get him social services to help become sustainable. He was literally in tears..saying that he had never been treated so good in his entire life.
Your donation helps us provide that dignity that is deserving by everyone…..

  • January 2018...COLD!

    So...it's a brand new year and it has started off with below normal temperatures...way below normal...into the negative wind chill numbers.

    We are giving away countless winter coats, stocking caps, gloves, warm thermal sox, long underwear and boots.

    We had a guest come to the house on a day that was -22. He was wearing only a fleece jacket. He was wearing mesh tennis shoes and his sox were absolutely soaking wet.

    Thanks to the generosity of many, we were were able to outfit him with thermal underwear, boots, gloves, neck scarf, winter coat and stocking cap.

    He was so happy, so grateful...he left with a big smile, a warm body and renewed spirit that so many people care. His parting words...'God Bless.."

    Yes...God Bless our wonderful donors who make it possible that we can continue to minister to the marginalized.

Homeless Memorial Day...December 21, 2018

Homeless Memorial Day…..Each year for the past eight years, Hospitality House has sponsored a Homeless Memorial Day for those who have passed away in a homeless situation during the year. It is always held on December 21...the Winter Solstice..the longest night of the year.  Nights are hard for people that are in a homeless situation.

This is a  time that we can honor their life, offer a prayer and unite as a community to remember them.  This year, we will be remembering and honoring many of our previous guests that have passed away this year.

Please join us Friday,  December 21, 2018 for this time of remembrance.


We will meet at COR, 220 E. 4th St. (downtown Waterloo) at 6 p.m.  And walk in a candlelight procession to  Lincoln Park where we will remember those who passed away. Immediately  following, we will tie some hats and scarves to the trees for those homeless to take to help with warmth.  We invite you to  return to COR afterward for a light meal and community  time.





What is Giving Tuesday?  

It always falls the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and kicks off the holiday season in the spirit of giving.  

The week of Giving Tuesday beginning November 27 and continuing through December 3 we ask your donation to Hospitality House to provide HOPE to those we serve that are in a homeless situation or in poverty.


We have been serving our guests for eight years...providing services ranging from personal care products, backpacks, food sacks, meals, clothing and coats, bus tickets laundry facilities, social service advocacy and compassion.


We are able to do this because of you and your generosity.  We ask you to make a GIVING TUESDAY donation...and help us help our guests.  No donation is too small.

Checks can be mailed or dropped off to:

Hospitality House

1003 Mulberry St.

Waterloo IA  50703

Your gift/donation is tax deductible.


It takes a VILLAGE to help our guests.

Support at Hospitality House

  • Meal provides Food for Body and Spirit

    The Community Outreach meal is sponsored by Hospitality House at 220 East in downtown Waterloo.
    On an average night, we serve between sixty and seventy guests. Some nights, we serve over a hundred people.
    We have a core group of some great volunteers that continue to give up their Friday evenings to serve those that need food for both the body and the soul….some people come to supplement their food source each week...finding their income doesn’t stretch enough to have good balanced meals each night.
    Some come for the community aspect of eating with friends..or just not eating alone. Everyone is welcome.
    We have seen friendships bloom over the last nineteen months. We have welcomed new babies into the “Community Meal” family. We have celebrated birthdays with our guests. We listen each week to the news they are so eager to share...to have someone listen to their hopes. We have prayed with guests that have a special need.
    Some weeks, we have been able to provide some music for our guests to enjoy during dinner from piano to guitar to flute.
    It is an act of love, born of faith, providing HOPE.


    HOMELESS DON'T DESERVE THIS..... These photos are ACTUAL photos of under a bridge in downtown Waterloo where some of those in a homeless situation are actually sleeping....
    Right now at Hospitality House, we have a group of those that are in a homeless situation ranging in age from 30-85 years old. Some are not able to hold jobs because of mental health issues, some have medical problems, some can't find employment, some are just in need of some respite...Think about if your home was under the bridge.....our daytime guests are being turned away from the overnight shelters because they don't see a "weather crisis" with the temps above freezing....I wonder if any of those that staff the overnight shelters have actually spent a night under the bridge....I did just that a couple of years ago with one of our volunteers. I can tell you it was a life-altering event….it was just a small taste of what many of our guests see on a daily/nightly basis. It’s not pleasant….

  • Struggles.....

    This little marigold growing outside the porch at Hospitality House as we end November reminds me of the resilience of those in a homeless situation.

    This little flower struggles to grow, to bloom in adverse conditions...dry soil, rocky ground, people sometimes stepping very close to it, unsheltered in the wind and cold. Many of the same things that our guests go through...

    Struggling to flourish..to maintain...to get ahead once they are in a homeless situation. Life is not easy...working each and every day to get out of that situation and into a sustainable life..one where there is a job, stable housing.
    We watch them finally bloom despite the adverse conditions.

HOPE....Helping Carry the Crosses Daily of Our Guests