In the early 1990s, five men lost their lives in Des Moines, having had nowhere to stay in the middle of winter, and denied from existing shelters. CISS was created after this tragedy. With over 200 beds, a clinic, food pantry, and classroom, the organization has grown to assist more than 2,000 men and women each year.
CISS also offers various programs, including its United Way-funded Community Kitchen, which cooks and delivers meals to local underserved areas and provides job training and employment to men and women who are homeless. In addition, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings convene at various times Sunday through Friday at CISS.