Polk County

Founded in 1846, Polk County was named after President James K. Polk. There are many things to do in the area such as taking a trip to the Blank Park Zoo, riding roller coasters at Adventureland Park, relaxing at Saylorville Lake, learning about the early settlers at Living History Farms, exploring the Iowa State Capitol and attending concerts at Wells Fargo Arena or the historical Hoyt Sherman. Polk County provides a multitude of activities for young adults, active adults and families.
Date of HBI Establishment:
Website: Polk County
Contact: Rebecca Buch / 515-286-3670
Cities: About Home Base Iowa Cities, Ankeny, Bondurant, Des Moines, Grimes, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, West Des Moines

About Home Base Iowa Cities

Home Base Iowa cities provide additional resources and discounts for veterans who relocate to these communities. The incentives stand alone or complement those offered by the county and state. All the cities listed have passed a city council resolution supporting the program, provide an incentive/welcome package, ensure 10 percent of eligible businesses are involved with Home Base Iowa and have the option to purchase Home Base Iowa signage.

Click on the other tabs to view veteran resources, higher educational institutions and all county and statewide incentives.


Ankeny

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Ankeny, incentives include:

  • Discounted drop-in daycare for visiting veterans
  • Free hotel stay for visiting/interviewing veterans and a discount on long-term hotel stays
  • Discounted realtor fees for new home purchases
  • Discount on health club membership
  • Des Moines Area Community College benefits (DMACC in Ankeny)

Home Base Iowa Community Established: June 2016

Bondurant

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Bondurant, incentives include:

  • Each veteran that visits Bondurant will receive a “Welcome Bag” from the Chamber of Commerce.
  • A community representative will arrange for a community tour and facilitate arranging meetings with various service providers in the community.
  • Ten percent reduction in building permit fees.
  • Access to the Polk County Veterans Affairs at Camp Dodge in Building 3465 in nearby Johnston.
  • The VA Central Iowa Health Care System operates a Veterans Health Administration medical facility in Des Moines with a Community Based Outpatient Clinic located in Marshalltown, which is 37 miles away from Bondurant.

Home Base Iowa Community Established: February 2017 

Des Moines

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Des Moines, incentives include:

Home Base Iowa Community Established: June 2017

Grimes

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Grimes, incentives include:

  • Home Base Iowa benefits offered by the City of Grimes to their residents shall be in the form of vouchers granted one-time to each honorably discharged veteran applicant to help offset the cost of building permits, parks and rec programming and pet licenses. The value of the voucher shall be $250.

Home Base Iowa Community Established: July 2015

Johnston

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Johnston, incentives include:

  • Many retail, service and dining discounts at Johnston-area businesses.

Home Base Iowa Community Established: March 2015

Pleasant Hill

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Pleasant Hill, incentives include:

Home Base Iowa Community Established: February 2017

Urbandale

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In Urbandale, incentives include:

  • When a veteran leases a home or apartment in Urbandale, the City of Urbandale will issue a check for $250 to the veteran to spend on the transition to the community and potentially support health and wellness expenses.
  • When a veteran purchases a home in Urbandale, the City of Urbandale will issue a check for $1,000 to the veteran to help offset the cost for City related services of owning a home-such as the cost of six months of water service, garbage bins, trash collection, in addition to supporting health and wellness expenses; if the veteran previously received $250 for leasing expenses, it would be deducted.
  • Complimentary resume review services for veterans and spouses by City of Urbandale Human Resources Department.
  • Discounted municipal pool passes and Parks and Recreation Department Programs for one year after veteran/veteran’s family establishes residence in Urbandale.

Home Base Iowa Community Established: May 2016

West Des Moines

Home Base Iowa (HBI) communities offer valuable incentives for veterans who relocate to their community. Please contact the community point of contact or county veteran director for more information.

In West Des Moines, incentives include:

Home Base Iowa Community Established: September 2015

County Veteran Offices

These should be veterans first point of contact and every county has a Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and a County Veterans Director. These offices assist veterans with compensation/pensions, medical care, military records, grave markers and veteran home loans. Some counties also have dedicated funds to assist with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling and transportation. Visit the County Veterans Office page and click on the county of residence.  

IowaWORKS Centers

IowaWORKS Centers are committed to providing quality employment services to all military service members and their spouses. All veterans and their spouse may be eligible for priority service.  Please let a team member know upon check-in of your veteran status. IowaWORKS Centers provide a full range of job/career assistance. Individual services include:

  • Career counseling and job search skills development
  • Help locating employment and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities
  • Academic skill testing and hands-on computer classes
  • Creating resumes/cover letters and interview preparation

Iowa National Guard Services

The Warrior & Family Services Branch is a Joint Force initiative that provides assistance to all military families, regardless of branch or component, who find themselves beyond the support capability of active duty military facilities or their home units. The Warrior & Family Services Branch acts as a network that allows families to mutually support one another. By providing families with information, resources and support, the program strengthens both the unit and service members. To learn more about these services, visit the Warrior & Family Services page to learn more.

Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)

The Iowa ESGR team is comprised of approximately 106 dedicated volunteers and three full-time staff members prepared to engage, inform and support employers and reserve component members throughout the state. Iowa has a proud history of outstanding employer support for reserve component members. Today’s team continues this tradition through a strong emphasis on “prevention through education.” To learn more visit the Iowa ESGR.

Non-Profit Statewide Veteran Support Organizations

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, war-time veteran organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is a community-service organization which has reached nearly three million members, men and women at almost 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide.  The American Legion Department of Iowa is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Department Service Office is located in the Federal Building in Des Moines, with an additional office located in the VA Medical Center in Iowa City. Visit the Iowa Legion or email: info@ialegion.org.

An Introduction to CHAMPs

Iowa's Certified Higher Academic Military Partners (CHAMPs) offer higher education incentives to qualified veterans, their spouses and dependents. Benefits include in-state tuition rates, on-campus support, credit for military courses and special financial considerations.


Des Moines Area Community College

Des Moines Area Community College,  a public institution that offers 168 programs, is the largest two-year college in Iowa. With campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Urban/Des Moines and West Des Moines, Des Moines Area Community College can accommodate the needs of many people seeking higher education.

Drake University

Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. A mid-sized, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, we offer the benefits and resources of a larger institution along with the advantages of intimate class sizes and close personal relationships. Our mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship.

Mercy College of Health Science

Mercy College of Health Sciences is an institution of higher learning located in downtown Des Moines. Mercy is a Catholic institution that prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community by integrating its core values with a professional and liberal arts and sciences education.

Purdue University Global

Purdue Global is a world-class university within a world-class public university system. When it comes to balancing a career, family, and school, we know that flexibility is key. That's why we put you in control of your education, offering innovative learning options that let you choose what, how, and where you learn. As a CHAMPS institution here in Iowa, our advisors work closely with you to understand your personal learning needs. They also evaluate your academic, professional, or military experiences to give you credit for what you already know. 

Campus locations in Mason City, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Davenport and Des Moines. 

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa is a public research university located in Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state. The University of Iowa is known around the world for its balanced commitment to the arts, sciences and humanities. It's home to one of the nation's largest academic medical centers, the pioneering Iowa Writers' Workshop and hundreds of options for affordable, accessible education.

Upper Iowa University

Since 1857, Upper Iowa University has been preparing students to succeed—in the classroom and in the world. That rich history, coupled with a student-centered mission, has created a springboard for UIU to become a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced study.

From our Fayette Campus to our undergraduate and graduate online programs, to our 25 U.S. Centers, including Centers in Cedar Rapids,  Des Moines, the Quad Cities, and Waterloo.  UIU has the people in place to help you succeed.

  • For more information: 
    • HBI CHAMPS Contact: Dawn Novak / 563.425.5400 / novakd@uiu.edu
    • Website: UIU Veterans Page

Home Base Iowa Statewide Veteran Incentives
The Home Base Iowa Act positions Iowa as a leader in respect, support and employment of veterans through a public-private partnership. The Iowa Legislature passed the Act in a broad bi-partisan manner and then Governor Terry E. Branstad signed it into law on Memorial Day, 2014. The Act contains the following incentives:

Please contact the County Veterans Office or the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.