The collaboration that four Johnson County nonprofits referred to as "Stronger Together" might be an understatement.
The four, Crisis Center, Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP), Free Lunch Program and National Alliance on Mental Illness of Johnson County (NAMIJC), are connecting the community by pooling resources to help Johnson County residents struggling with emotional turmoil. Offering their services under one umbrella and in one location, is efficient for individuals in need, as well as, the agencies and their staffs. Working together, agency representatives anticipate serving 45,000 service requests annually.
Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Supervisor and grant committee member of the Community Foundation of Johnson County (CFJC), says the county's gift of the building, located at 1105 Gilbert Court, valued at $550,000, was essential to the launch 1105 Project. "The supervisors intended to sell the building, but the lack of a sale opened new opportunities for programs in health and human services for people who really need assistance."
To bring the project to life, the City of Iowa City demonstrated support with a $160,000 Community Development Block Grant for renovation costs; and the Community Foundation of Johnson also contributed significantly to the project.
A capital campaign, headed by Jeff Barta at Edward Jones, seeks to raise $1.2 million to complete the project providing design, renovations, finishes and furniture as well as a building maintenance fund. A 1105 Project fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Johnson County. Those who wish to make a gift can visit www.communityfoundationofjohnsoncounty.org/pages/give-to-the-endowment.php and indicate 1105 Project.
Individuals who wish to offer their skills with light construction activities can contact Mary Palmberg at 319.400.0388 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sullivan says the 1105 Project goals helps ensure the sustainability of the Free Lunch Program; provide outreach, youth and prevention education services for victims of abuse; expand programs for individuals who are in crisis and those living with mental illness; and provide a commercial kitchen facilities and meeting spaces for the community. "This project represents a win-win for the agencies and Johnson County. The spirit of collaboration is connecting our community and making the 1105 Project a reality. Many of these collaborators share clients. The location, adjacent to the Crisis Center, will provide more continuity for clients. The cooperating 1105 Project agencies are not only stronger, they are actually providing better service," he added.
Mike Stoffregen, CFJC Executive Director, says, "The Community Foundation endorses the concept of partnering to better serve our community. Collaboration helps keep administrative overhead to a minimum."