Who We Are
Hope Ministries has been serving people in need in central Iowa since 1915. We provide food, clothing, shelter and life recovery support for men, women and children and operate out of seven ministry centers around Des Moines.
To rescue those who are homeless, hungry, abused or addicted, providing opportunities for hope, recovery and restoration through the love of Jesus Christ.
Our Core Values
1. We honor God by trusting and obeying Him.
2. We are stewards of God's resources.
3. We value people.
Read more about our Core Values and our Statement of Faith.
Our History of Service
President/Chief Executive Officer
Leon has more than 30 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector and has served in a leadership role with Bethel Mission and Hope Ministries for the past two decades. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Calvin College and a Master’s degree in rehabilitation administration from the University of San Francisco.
Leon and his wife Melanie have been married for 35 years and have three grown children and two grandchildren. He is active in his home community of Pella and his church.
"God has created each of us in His image, and he has a plan and a purpose for every individual," Leon says. "I count it a privilege to serve those who are homeless, hungry and hurting each day – helping each one to discover God’s special plan for their lives."
Director of Development and Community Relations
After more than 20 years’ experience in corporate communications, public relations and marketing communications, God led Kathy to a new path into development and community relations with Hope Ministries. She has a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communications from Truman State University, and a master’s in communication leadership from Drake University.
Kathy and her husband, Terry, have been married for 24 years and have two kids in college. They are partners at Prairie Ridge Church in Ankeny.
“I’m so blessed to have this opportunity to help connect God’s people with God’s work to lift up men, women and children in our community who are homeless or in need of hope. As Isaiah 40:31 tells us, ‘Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’”
Director of Operations
Keith has been involved with Hope Ministries for 15 years, 10 of those years as Director of Operations. Keith currently leads the areas of finance, human resources, facilities and information technology for Hope Ministries.
Keith has a B.A. degree in English and writing from Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, IN). Before joining Bethel Mission in 1999 as director of development, he spent more than 10 years as a journalist, editor and publisher, winning several statewide writing awards. His wife, Sharon, is an ordained minister and has pastored several churches in rural Iowa. They have three children.
"There's something very special about investing in the lives of those who need God's love," Keith says. "I feel privileged to be able to use my gifts to help others who are hurting. It's an amazing way to get out of bed every day - knowing I can make a difference."
Director of H.R. and Community Outreach Operations
Cole has been with the organization since 2000, serving for 10 of those years as the Director of Men's Ministry. In 2010, Cole assumed his current role of directing the organization's human resource function. In addition, Cole directs Hope Ministries' enterprise efforts within its ENCORE Thrift Store, along with oversight of food services and clothing distributions to those in need.
Cole has a Master of Business Administration degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. He and his wife, Stacy, and their two boys--Brennan and Aaron--reside in Urbandale and are involved in leadership and ministry at their church home, First Federated Church.
"Valuing people is one of our core values here at Hope Ministries. I am blessed to be able to direct our efforts at finding those with similar value systems, imparting our culture, and equipping them both individually and within teams to carry out this core value with all those that our ministry touches week-in and week-out for the glory of God."
Director of Men’s Ministries
Dwight returned to Iowa after living and working in Ohio for 25 years. After graduating with an Industrial Engineering degree from Iowa State University, Dwight worked for the automotive industry for Delphi Packard Electric for 16 years. God then got a better hold on him when he went to work as a teacher and then administrator for Warren Christian School. Dwight obtained his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership through Jones International University out of Colorado.
Dwight and his wife Lynn reside in Johnston, where they are actively involved in Meredith Drive Reformed Church. Their son Justin and his wife Kaeleigh reside in Polk City and their daughter Megan and son-in-law Joey reside in Ankeny.
“I can’t believe God has blessed me to be a part of this great ministry! Following my wife’s job change home to Iowa, spending months in the job search process was very frustrating and trying of my patience. Once again, God has shown me, ‘Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.’ Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for your good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Director of Women and Children's Ministries
Elizabeth was called on a faith journey the end of 2001, which entailed a move back to Des Moines after an absence of nearly 15 years and a move out of Corporate America into ministry. She joined the Hope Ministry Team in September 2005 after having served at Good Samaritan Urban Ministries in the area of resource development and church relations for three-and-a-half years and as interim director for a time. As the Director of the Hope Center for Women and Children, Elizabeth and her staff work with single women and mothers with children to offer hope and a new beginning.
Elizabeth has a Bachelors of Arts in French and a broad corporate professional experience having worked for the French government in New York City, and in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics and a Christian public relations firm. She resides in Mitchellville and is an active member at Adventure-Life Church in Altoona, where she serves on the worship team.
"I desire that every mother and child who enters our doors sees the Lord’s purpose come alive in their lives as declared in Jeremiah 29:11-14. May His plan to give them a hope and a prosperous future be fulfilled as they progress towards healing, growth, stability and a relationship with Jesus Christ."