Genesis Development opened their first Drop-In Center in Adel, Iowa. This new venture is a partnership with the Heart of Iowa Community Services region and Genesis Development. The Drop-In Center is open to all adults with a mental health diagnosis (in Audubon, Dallas, Greene and Guthrie counties) who are wanting a place to go to meet peers and find supports in their community.

The Drop-In Center will host a variety of activities each month for members to participate in as their time allows. The Drop-In Center will host activities such as potlucks, crafts, puzzles, video games, and more. Participants can provide input in the kinds of activities and events that are available. The Drop-In Center also plans to be involved in the community and volunteer where help is needed. Overall, the Drop-In Center is a place where individuals with mental illness can come and meet new people, socialize with their peers and interact in a safe, open and inviting atmosphere.

In addition to the scheduled activities, members will have access to information about resources and providers in the area. This information will include services for general assistance, food and living, counselling and many other services.

The Drop-In Center will be supervised by Megan Hicks of Genesis Development. In addition, members will be hired as part-time staff to help coordinate and run the schedule of activities as well as provide peer support. This group, along with some other members, will make up an advisory board that will plan and coordinate Drop-In Center functions.

“I’ve been an advocate for mental health services for many years and the biggest issue I have seen is the stigma which prevents individuals from creating the connections and the support that they need. The Drop-In Center is a much needed, stigma-free, open space where someone with a mental illness can go to make friends and to find supports,” said Hicks.

Every member of the Drop-In Center will have the same goal to build peer and natural supports. Other goals can be addressed and worked on as members choose to with the help of the Drop-In Center supervisor and staff.

“Heart of Iowa Community Services Region is excited to partner with Genesis on the new Drop-in Center. Drop-in Centers with peer support have shown to increase individuals’ social and interpersonal networks, help meet basic needs and assist with much needed resources, and give voices to members wanting to promote change. HICS is excited to see this program grow and hopefully expand in the future,” said HICS region CEO, Darci Alt.

Any person in one of the Heart of Iowa counties with a documented mental health diagnosis (and co-occurring issues) is eligible to use the Drop-In Center. After a meeting with Hicks and approval by the HICS region, an individual can begin coming to the Drop-In Center as they wish.