top of page

Emergency Shelter


When you have nowhere else to go...

Our goal is to help as many people as possible avoid needing shelter altogether. Sometimes, however, households have nowhere else to go and shelter is unavoidable. For those who enter shelter, we provide a safe, welcoming environment that promotes and supports the hard work of obtaining permanent, stable housing.

Clients in need of shelter first contact Waypoint's Shelter Services coordinated entry program by calling (319) 366-7999. Shelter Services talks with the caller about their current situation and attempts to identify non-shelter, temporary housing options, such as living with a family member of friend for a short period of time. If no alternative to shelter is determined, Shelter Services will contact the most appropriate shelter in Linn County to let them know a client will be coming for check in.

In 2023 we provided shelter to nearly 450 individuals, including 30 families.

During check in at Willis Dady, we gather information about a client's past and current situation in order to determine how to best support them. We discuss the client's immediate needs (such as clothing, hygiene items, and food), and go over shelter policies and rules. The client is then assigned a bed (or apartment in the case of a family) and given bedding and other items identified as necessary. The client will have the same bed/apartment for the next approximately thirty days while they work with the case manager to address barriers and obtain permanent, stable housing.


During their stay at shelter, clients must leave the building during the day. This promotes effort towards housing, employment, and any other needs a client might have. Clients receive two bus tickets each day (four for families) to assist in transportation. Shelter clients are required to participate in case management at least once each week during their stay. (Learn about case management here.) Shelter is important for the safety of households experiencing homelessness, and we believe that case management is essential for breaking the cycle of homelessness and obtaining permanent, stable housing

Of the clients who provided exit information in 2016, 82.3% exited to stable housing.

During the evening, clients have access to laundry facilities, showers, a kitchen, donated food items, computers, internet, and television. Resident Assistants (RAs) are present during the evening to support clients and provide them with any needs they might have. On Wednesday evenings, community members, businesses, and agencies provide free educational classes to shelter resents, and on Sundays, community groups provide a noontime meal. (Learn more about these volunteer oppotunities here.)

Quick Facts

In 2019, Willis Dady completed a Capital Campaign, which allowed us to expand our shelter and our services to individuals and families in Linn County.

Thank you to everyone that supported Willis Dady in making our dream a reality!

Shelter Capacity Now (Then):

  • 25 Single Men (16 single men)

  • 10 Veterans

  • 6 Family Apartments (4 families)

What Clients Recieve

  • A warm, welcoming bed

  • Ongoing case management

  • A location to wash their clothes

  • Bus tickets to assist clients in attending appointments, finding employment, or identifying housing.

  • Hygiene items

  • Food items

  • Clothing items

Clients exit the shelter during the day to look for housing, employment, or to work.

Looking for shelter?

Please call Shelter Services at


Willis Dady's Emergency Shelter takes referrals from Shelter Services to fill open beds. All interested persons looking for shelter must go through Shelter Services. 

Are you experiencing homelessness and want to talk to a case manager?

  • Visit our Hector's Place Day Center 9am-1pm on M/W/F at 800 1st Ave NW Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

  • Stop by our Emergency Shelter at 1247 4th Ave SE Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 for basic hygiene supplies, snacks, and water. 

  • Connect with our Front Desk via phone at 319-362-7555 to fill out a referral form for our Street Outreach team. They can help you get enrolled in housing programs and address basic needs until you move into housing. 

bottom of page