Starts Right Here

A nonprofit organization

Starts Right Here is a nonprofit in Des Moines, IA committed to giving youth a chance to  rise above the circumstances they were born into to reach their mental, emotional, physical and economic potential with the programs it offers.  

Starts Right Here is leasing a 1700 Square foot warehouse conveniently located at 455 SW 5th Street, Des Moines. This location is within walking distance to much of downtown Des Moines. Convenient Metro Bus access was a deciding factor to this location. Adequate parking is present, and a bit removed from the high traffic areas. Location is ground level and a warehouse that will allow for ease of build out. 

Services and Programs include: 

Tutoring -- Mentoring--Mental Health Counseling -- Facility Space (refuge) --Computer Lab --Music Workshops --Talent Shows -- Transportation

 Starts Right Here offers Mentoring Programs: 

The Porch aims to provide a safe place for kids during school and after school hours. The porch offers educational and student support classes. A place of laughter, relaxation and play, and of quiet conversations, companionable silence and reflection as well as the opportunity for mentoring.  

Second Chance program is a one-on-one mentoring program in partnership with the Des Moines Police Department. Programming is customized to the needs as they arise.  

Polk County Juvenile Detention partnership also provides individualized mentoring services for youth. 

Mental Health Counseling services on-site by appointment. 

Background:  Organization founder, Will Holmes, knows change is possible for these kids because he has been where they are. He grew up in Chicago. By age seven, he was a sexual abuse survivor. By thirteen, he found a “home” with The Blackstone gang. At fifteen, Will watched rivals murder his friend and then turn their hatred on him. A jammed gun saved him from instant death but not from a vicious beating with baseball bats and knives that left him barely alive. It was devastating and it was lifechanging. Will’s recovery wasn’t just physical, it was mental and emotional. Over time, he chose hope. He embraced determination and found purpose. Will became both the cautionary tale for kids like him and the proof that it is possible to overcome their history.  After years of successfully mentoring youth in Des Moines Public Schools and through Des Moines Police Department Second Chance programs, Will realized struggling kids needed more outside of school hours.

Our Principles: We seek to close opportunity gaps and ensure equity for all. According to a paper authored by Lardier, Herr, Barrios, Garcia-Reid and Reid, kids in the urban core lack organic access to social capital – the resources and relationships that facilitate positive, long-term outcomes – making them dependent on institutional programs to close the gap. 







Organization Information


Starts Right Here

Employer id number (ein)



455 sw 5th street suite A
Des Moines, IA 50309



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