Our Mission

To create an environment that empowers women in crisis to achieve positive long-term change.

Shelter, Safety and Support

For almost 40 years, Beacon of Life has been a guiding light for women in our community experiencing homelessness due to trauma, substance abuse, domestic violence and incarceration. Of our residents, 85 percent are rebuilding self-sufficiency after being involved in the criminal justice system. Our program isn’t just about finding a job or having a place to live — it’s about repairing broken relationships, building new ones, creating boundaries and strengthening the mind, body and spirit.

Beacon of Life, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is the only shelter in Central Iowa that provides transitional housing with supportive services in a structured environment exclusive to single women. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our safe and secure facility is fully equipped with a pantry, kitchen, laundry room, activity room and around-the-clock staff for 34 women. It affords both anonymity and a sense of belonging, allowing our residents to overcome addictions, trauma and personal struggles through our financial, health and wellness, employment and recovery programs.

We appreciate financial gifts of all sizes, as well as the following in-kind donations for our resident facility (in order of importance):

  • Copy paper
  • Liquid dish soup
  • DART bus tokens
  • Cleaning supplies (glass, all purpose, toilet)
  • Paper towels
  • New women’s underwear (all sizes)
  • New socks (all sizes)
  • New bras (all sizes)
  • Kitchen drying towels
  • Liquid laundry soap
  • Feminine hygiene products

For direct shipment to Beacon of Life, use Amazon Smile to purchase these products — and .05 percent of the proceeds will be donated back to our organization!



Beacon Boutique moves to its new home, an even bigger and better location, at 1974 Grand Avenue (Normandy Shopping Plaza).


Found Treasures is renamed Beacon Boutique, helping to make a direct connection to store sales supporting Beacon’s mission.


Found Treasures is relocated to a bigger space at 817 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.


Found Treasures, Beacon of Life's resale store, is established in the Valley Junction area of West Des Moines.


Beacon of Life is and expanded to include wheelchair accessibility and office space.


Beacon of Life moves to its new home at 1717 Woodland Avenue.


Beacon of Life is incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and establishes a board of directors. The organization also begins providing shelter and programs to homeless women.


Beacon of Life is founded through the collaborative efforts of local Methodist churches, with the mission of providing basic resources — including clothing and food — to homeless women in Central Iowa.


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Keshia Meissner

Executive Director

Keshia is responsible for the overall strategic plan and operations of the Beacon, including staff, programs, expansion, fundraising/development and execution of its mission.


Stacie Ricklefs

Events and Marketing Coordinator

Stacie is responsible for the overall marketing plan and event operations for Beacon of Life and Beacon Boutique.


Lynn Halldorson

Case Manager & Intake Coordinator

Lynn is responsible for providing comprehensive assessment, planning, implementation and overall evaluation of each of our resident’s needs.


Latoya Harrisson

House Manager

Latoya is responsible for day to day operations of the shelter and assisting residents with their case plans.


Valerie Herdeaz

Beacon Boutique Store Manager

Valerie manages the operations and development of the Beacon Boutique, volunteer training and recruitment, and community engagement and awareness.

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Linda Pallwitz

Administrative Assisant

Linda provides support to the executive director and is the point of contact for billing and ordering 

Board of Directors


Travis Simpson


Member since October 2015

Jill Niswander

Jill Niswander

Vice President

Member since 2016


Skyler Roorda


Member since 2016

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Cheryl Tuttle


Member since July 2017

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John Ferguson

At Large Board Member

Member since July 2016

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Regan Wilson

At Large Board Member

Member since July 2018

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Shannon Sobek

At Large Board Member

Member since July 2018


Emily Berrier

At Large Board Member

Member since July 2019

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Kristin Kuykendall

At Large Board Member

Member since July 2019

Frequently Asked Questions