The Crisis Center of Johnson County is changing its name to CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank to better reflect its services and those it serves.
Iowa City, IA – The Crisis Center of Johnson County announced Monday evening the organization will be changing its name to CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank.
The organization, which has provided critical services in Johnson County for nearly 50 years, says it is at a turning point.
“Throughout my tenure as executive director, The Crisis Center has evolved as an organization, expanding all of its programs and service area,” said Executive Director Becci Reedus. “However, one thing has remained constant, and that has been the support of our community, which helped to build us from the ground up.”
Reedus said the name CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, or CommUnity for short, is a natural expression of where the organization came from and where it’s headed.
“We were founded by members of the community. We are staffed by volunteers and individuals from the community. We are supported and funded by the community, including the government, schools, churches, businesses, service organizations, and individual donors. We all have unity around our efforts to benefit those in need.”
The impetus for the change came as a result of the expanded service area in the Crisis Intervention Program. As the organization’s reach has expanded into the rest of the state and beyond, access to additional funding has not followed.
“We realized our name has been one of the limiting factors,” Reedus said. “We estimate that potentially millions of dollars in funding opportunities were lost because we were seen as either part of Johnson County government or as an organization that only provides services in Johnson County.”
The new name, she said, gives the organization the ability to access contracts, funding, volunteers, and even more supporters outside of Johnson County.
“Our services will not change,” Reedus said. “Only our name has changed. The food bank will continue to serve more than 1,000 families each week, and trained staff and volunteers will continue to provide crisis services to thousands of people across the country each month.”
To address the changing landscape, the organization worked with a Coralville marketing agency, Meld Marketing, to determine a new name, build a new brand, and ultimately, to share the new brand with the community and its supporters.
The name change is the latest evolution in the nearly 50-year history of the organization. The Crisis Center was founded in 1970 by members of the community who identified a lack of support for those in times of crisis. In 1978, the community identified a need for a reliable food source and opened a food bank. In the ‘80s, the organization partnered with the local faith community to serve as stewards of their donations to help manage and direct emergency assistance funds for rent, utilities, work-enabling products, and other financial support.
“We’re at an exciting turning point.” Reedus said. “The community has made us who we are and will continue to shape us over the next 50 years.”
# # #
For nearly 50 years, CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, formerly The Crisis Center, has empowered thousands of families and individuals by providing services related to crisis intervention, suicide prevention, food insecurity, poverty, community philanthropy, volunteerism, and more.