CICS Contributes $10 Million to YSS Youth Recovery Campus


CICS Contributes $10 Million to YSS Youth Recovery Campus

Planned Campus Will Focus on Addressing Youth Mental and Behavioral Health

CICS, a state-supported Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Region that works with people experiencing brain health struggles and intellectual or other developmental disabilities, recently committed $10 million toward YSS’s best-in-class youth recovery campus, which will support adolescents with brain and behavioral health issues.

CICS’s substantial investment, the largest contribution CICS has ever made to a partner, will directly benefit the completion of YSS’s youth recovery campus, a planned facility in central Iowa. The facility will offer emergency shelter, crisis stabilization and addiction treatment for youth across the state. The nature-based campus — which is planning to feature housing, residential treatment facilities, dining and recreation areas, nature trails and more — is intended to provide a complete continuum of care for youth recovering from trauma, substance use disorders and dual diagnoses.

“This decision shows our board and staff’s commitment to invest in the lives of children in this region and throughout the state who have brain health and substance use issues,” said CICS CEO Russell Wood. “I am proud to lead an agency that is willing to be proactive and commit this level of funding towards this much-needed service. With this investment, we can help Iowa’s children heal.”

In July, CICS’s governing board approved the investment in the youth recovery campus, noting that YSS is a great partner in supporting improvements to children’s behavioral health services in Iowa.

“CICS has supported children’s behavioral health services in the past, but this is a significant step up,” Wood said. “We are investing in a reduction of trauma and an opportunity for kids to heal, helping them address brain health struggles now and lead better lives as adults. YSS is a great partner in that endeavor.”

“On behalf of YSS, I want to commend CICS for their transformational investment in mental health and addiction treatment services through our planned youth recovery center,” said Andrew Allen, YSS president and CEO.

“As a leader in providing mental and behavioral health services for youth, this commitment will allow YSS to further our reach and develop an innovative incubator model to deliver the best possible care to youth and families in central Iowa and beyond.”

CICS’s contribution aligns with Gov. Kim Reynold’s vision to focus on a strategic plan for children’s behavioral health systems. In 2020, new legislation paved the way for Iowa’s MHDS regions to financially support these services. CICS’s investment was made possible because of a change in state funding for mental health services that resulted in a more robust budget for this fiscal year only.

“I’m proud to have signed legislation that will allow proven mental healthcare providers to count on a steady and reliable source of funding,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I can think of no more deserving recipient of such funds than YSS, which has been offering Iowa’s youth life-changing mental health support for decades. Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of mental health reform, and Iowa’s children will be better off for it.”

“This is exactly the kind of innovative approach and investment we’d like to see in the State of Iowa, and we’re hopeful this can serve as a model for others. They are leading the way,” said Kelly Garcia, director of the Iowa Departments of Public Health and Human Services. “I’m thrilled by the forward momentum this creates by establishing a more fulsome array of services to support the behavioral health needs of our youth.”

About CICS

CICS, an Iowa Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Region, serves individuals and strengthens communities in 15 Iowa counties — Boone, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story, Warren and now Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Webster and Wright Counties. The region connects individuals with brain health struggles and intellectual or other developmental disabilities to services that improve their quality of life.

About YSS

YSS, a for-impact nonprofit founded in 1976 as Iowa’s first emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth, is committed to creating hope and opportunity by putting kids first.  Today, YSS programs provide comprehensive, community-based connections to ensure youth are valued and empowered to stand strong through prevention, treatment, transition and child welfare services for more than 10,000 youth and families each year.