Position Title: Connection Café Client Assistance Specialist

Summary: We are seeking a part-time independent worker to assist people in need in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. This person would aid clients of the Connection Café in finding housing or employment, applying for benefit programs, and learning life skills.

The Connection Café is an outreach program run by the Bridge. The primary purpose is providing weekday lunches to those in need. We also have many clients who need assistance with other matters.

The Bridge is a non-profit formed by four downtown Des Moines Churches: the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Episcopal), First United Methodist Church, St. Ambrose Cathedral (Roman Catholic), and St. John’s Lutheran Church. Our focus is providing weekday lunches, currently offered at St. John’s.

Position Goal: To assist Connection Café clients to apply for needed services and/or employment. This will include getting to know clients and their needs, and gaining understanding of available community resources.

Employer: The Bridge

Duration of Employment: Term is year-by-year, depending on funding and job performance. This position is grant-funded.

Reports To: Bridge Board of Directors, with day-to-day direction from the Connection Café Coordinator

Office Location: St. John’s Lutheran Church, 600 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309 (May move to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, 815 High Street, Des Moines, 50309 in 2024). Some remote work will also be possible.

Compensation: $28.85/hour (cap of $15,000/year)

Benefits: None

Schedule: 10 hours/week

  • Employee will be expected to be present during Café lunches (12:00 - 1:00, M-F) as often as possible to assist clients. 
  • Employee will be expected to attend Board meetings, which occur on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 4:45 pm, rotating among the four churches.
  • Additional work hours are flexible. 


  1. B.A./B.S. and/or work experience in Social Work or a related field.
  2. Strong organizational skills and ability to keep track of multiple small projects.
  3. Ability to work independently (a self-starter).
  4. Good communication skills.
  5. Ability to work with people from various organizations, faith communities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
  6. Knowledge of relevant programs in the Des Moines area, or ability and willingness to quickly gain this knowledge.
  7. Computer skills:
    1. Familiarity with basic computer applications and operations.
    2. Ability to manage small computer/technical issues and troubleshooting. (We do not have dedicated IT support.)

Major Responsibilities and Duties:

  1. Assist Connection Café clients to apply for needed services and/or employment.
  2. Communicate with Rob Hoover (Connection Café) and Rob Zlomke (Primary Health Care) to understand clients’ needs.
  3. Become acquainted with clients to understand their needs.
  4. Become acquainted with community resources that may be beneficial to clients.
  5. Organize education sessions (lunch & learns) to help clients gain beneficial skills.
  6. Submit a report to the Bridge Board once a month no later than the fourth Monday of each month.

To Apply: Submit a cover letter and resumé to bridgeboarddm@gmail.com. Preference will be given to submissions received on or before June 21.

Contact: If you have questions, you may contact the board at bridgeboarddm@gmail.com or Thom Davis at 515-745-9624.