Urban Dreams

1410 6th Ave. 515-288-4742

To improve the quality of life for all non-traditional client groups through a myriad of services and to bridge the gap between the traditional and non-traditional communities.

Fax: 515-284-5886




Executive Director: Wayne Ford

Since the mid-80s, Urban Dreams has been providing Des Moines’ inner city with a wide range of human service programs in a comfortable and non-threatening environment. Just as the problems that plague the inner city continue to evolve, Urban Dreams continues to change to combat them.

Urban Dreams offers programs that are in tune to the unique issues impacting Polk County’s economically depressed areas. Programs including information and referral and ex-offender support are just some of the services that Urban Dreams offers at no cost.

Founded in 1985 by Wayne Ford, Urban Dreams has become a community staple. Ford’s dream was to build a program that would provide an array of human services to those who needed it most but were unable to find it through traditional channels. The philosophy behind Urban Dreams is to offer services that meet the ever growing and constantly changing needs of our community. Urban Dreams’ non-traditional model of providing human support programs has become a model for human service/community agencies helping other communities throughout Iowa and the country.

Programming includes: Community Health, Community Care Case Management, Community Wireless Internet Program, Drop-Out Re-Engagement Program, Full Service Community Schools, Gertrude E. Rush Legal Education Project, Healthy Start & Empowerment, H.E.L.P (Hope Emergency Lifeline Project), H.E.R.O. (Habilitation and Empowerment for Returning Offenders), Beneficiary Choice, Information and Referral, International Dreams, Latino Dreams, Links to Learning, Metro Outreach, M.O.N.E.Y. (More Opportunities Needed Economically – Yes), P.L.A.Y.E.R.S. (Providing Links between Athletes & Youth to Empowering Resources in Society), Parent Educators, Pre-Employment Training, S.A.V.E. (Substance Abuse Variation Explorations), Culturally Competent Treatment Program (CCTP), Access to Recovery (ATR), OWI Classes, S.M.A.R.T. (Skills Modeling And Remedial Training), Social Mediation, Teenage Pregnancy Prevention, Tobacco Cessation Project, U-CARE (Urban Children Are Really Essential), Wayne Ford Applied Research Institute, V.O.T.E. (Voting Opportunities Through Education), Iowa Brown & Black Forum, West Side Boxing Club, Youth Recreation, Arts & Culture, Youth Safe Haven