CISS’s Community Kitchen Program

Central Iowa Shelter  Services pic
Central Iowa Shelter Services

Since 2009, Mark Allen Hanrahan has been a managing partner at Markmel Co., LLC, where he uses his knowledge of the local and global markets to invest in commercial real estate and seed-stage startups. During his free time, Mark Allen Hanrahan supports the Central Iowa Shelter & Services (CISS) homeless shelter.

CISS has been providing free temporary housing and meals to homeless adults since 1992. The shelter serves more than 2000 people each year, helping them become more self-sufficient. To accomplish its goals, CISS runs several programs, including a Community Kitchen.

Funded by United Way, CISS’ Community Kitchen initiative provides employment and training opportunities for up to 15 homeless men and women annually. These workers prepare and deliver over 99,000 meals every year to several meal sites across the metro area. These meal sites are strategically located in Polk County neighborhoods with high poverty levels.

Newly Expanded Central Iowa Shelter Helps Thousands

Central Iowa Shelter Image:
Central Iowa Shelter


Mark Allen Hanrahan is a philanthropist and an exprienced real estate professional located in Iowa. When he is not overseeing properties and managing investments, Mark Allen Hanrahan can be found supporting charities like the Central Iowa Homeless Shelter.

The Central Iowa Shelter was created in 1992 with the goal of providing free shelter and meals to local adults in need. It serves 2,000 men and women each year, helping them gain access to safe emergency shelter and supportive services.

Thanks to generous donations, the shelter expanded dramatically in 2012. It grew from an 8,000 square foot facility with 96 beds to a 42,000 square foot facility with 207 beds. The updated shelter includes expanded transitional housing for veterans in need, providing 19 dedicated rooms just for them. The new shelter is also home to 38 Section 8 efficiency apartments, providing affordable housing to people who need it.

The Central Iowa Shelter is also home to an on-site health clinic, a food pantry, a free clothing closet, and a classroom. Other services include showers and laundry facilities, group counseling, and helpful individualized case management.

The Traditional Performing Arts of Bali

Bali pic

With a background in real estate investment of more than 25 years, Mark Allen Hanrahan guides Markmel Co., LLC, in Urbandale, Iowa, as managing partner. A travel enthusiast who has visited Asia and Europe, Mark Hanrahan particularly enjoyed spending time in Bali, Indonesia.

A country with a unique Hindu tradition, Bali is known for dances that have their origins in traditional Javanese and Indian culture dating from 700 to 1,200 years ago. Created for temple ceremonies and local celebrations, the dances often have a symbolic narrative arc related to the ancient gods of Balinese history. Arm, head, and eye movements are highly synchronized, and the dancers perform with an almost trance-like concentration, displaying no emotions.

One of Bali’s most popular dramatic arts is the wayang kulit, which features fanciful shadow puppets that are used to portray traditional stories, often with a sense of humor. Performances in the villages and at temple services are often accompanied by musicians, which adds a sense of dramatic urgency. Bali is also well known for its boisterous gamelan music, played by an orchestra of instruments that range from bronze pots to drums and the xylophone-like gangsa.

The United Way’s Tocqueville Society

United Way of Central Iowa pic
United Way of Central Iowa

As the managing partner of the Markmel Company LLC, Mark Allen Hanrahan is responsible for accessing and capitalizing on commercial real estate and venture capital opportunities for the firm. Apart from his work, Mark Allen Hanrahan contributes to a number of charitable organizations, including the United Way of Central Iowa, and he is a member of the Tocqueville Society’s Ordre d’Egalite.

Inspired by historian Alexis de Tocqueville’s observation that Americans help each other in times of need and generously support the public welfare, the United Way of Central Iowa established the Tocqueville Society in 1984 to honor those philanthropists who annually contribute $10,000 or more in support of its mission to improve the lives of individuals and families in the community through its education, income, and health initiatives.

The Society recognizes nine levels of commitment based on contribution amount, named in terms of French orders. A donation of $1 million in a five-year timeframe grants a philanthropist membership in la Table Ronde des Millions de Dollars (Million Dollar Roundtable).