County provides services for people with disabilities

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cherokee County Community Services Department serves as the entry point for accessing county mental health funding for persons with disabilities. Some of these disabilities include mental retardation, developmental disabilities, brain injury, and chronic mental illness. The Community Services Department is responsible for monitoring all county mental health functions in Cherokee County including review of applications, determining eligibility for funding, service planning and authorization of all mental health expenditures. Within our department, Cherokee County also employees a case manager who provides coordination and monitoring of services for individuals. In order to receive case management services through our department, a person must be Medicaid eligible and have a need for coordination of more than one service. Once a person is determined eligible for case management, the case manager will find agencies to provide the needed services.

Cherokee County Community Services works closely with agencies in Cherokee County to provide needed services for people who have disabilities. Services are determined based on individual need. It is our goal to help educate the community regarding mental health services in Cherokee County. If you would like us to speak to your organization, please contact us at 225-6700. Our offices are currently located in The Depot. Beginning July 1, we will be in our new location at 203 East Bow Drive, on the north side of Plains Area Mental Health Center.

Mid-Step Services' Cherry House Offers Cheerful Living

Cherry House in Cherokee offers supervised community living and services to nine persons with mental disabilities who live independently with minimal support. Cherry House is the first facility of Mid-Step Services which began operations in Cherokee in 1978. After moving from its first site, today Cherry House is located a duplex at 794 & 798 N. 1st Street.

Mid-Step Services started as one home with six residents and four staff members in Cherokee 30 years ago. Mid-Step Services is an organization with 20 residential facilities and vocational programs serving the special needs of 300 individuals with mental and physical disabilities. There are 400 employees working in five communities. They provide services in homes, apartment buildings, vocational centers and programs in Cherokee, Lawton, Moville, Sergeant Bluff and Sioux City Iowa.

Mid-Step residents receive care in all levels of living ranging from independent living in neighborhood home settings ? like Cherry House ??to those who need specialized care in intermediate care homes.

The Cherry House staff of 10 employees is led by coordinator Nicole Campbell. "We have a great home here in Cherokee and are grateful for the local support we have received," says Campbell. "Thanks to generous volunteers, churches, donors and businesses, about 18 months ago we were able to transform a garage into an office area and gathering space to benefit our Cherry House residents."

For information on how to be a volunteer buddy to a resident or make donations to Cherry House, contact Campbell at Cherry House at 225-2233.

Achieving Success

Pride Group, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit corporation with locations in Cherokee, Le Mars, and Primghar. We serve individuals who are diagnosed mentally disabled. Our mission is to help the individuals we serve achieve an excellent quality of life within the least restrictive setting possible.

Our Programs are designed to help the consumers we serve manage their illness and/or disability, as well as helping them meet some specific goals that they set for themselves. The goal is outlined in their plan, then support staff implements activities and projects to help the consumer get closer to achieving their goals. All divisions offer individualized programming objectives that may include these services;

Money Management

Medication Management



Laundry Skills

Assist with Application of Governmental Programs

Meal Preparation

Personal Hygiene

Community Integration

Work Training Programs

Adult Basic Education

Service Divisions in Cherokee include:

HCBS, (Home and Community Based Services) currently include the HCBS hourly, daily and Respite programs. The HCBS Daily Services are designed to assist and instruct the individual with daily living needs within the community setting of four people or less. The HCBS Hourly services are designed to assist and instruct the individual with daily living needs on an individual basis. The respite service is provided on a short term basis. It is designed to give families/caregivers relief from their duties with the consumer being served. This relief for the family may be enough to ensure that the consumer remains in the family home instead of an outside placement.

SCL, (Supported Community Living) Division provides support and stability for individuals who reside in apartments/houses. Services include personal assistance, daily living skill instruction, community integration and 24 hour emergency assistance.

West Cedar Division, Residential Care Facility for Persons with Mental Illness is an adult living arrangement licensed by the State of Iowa for 15 individuals. Food, shelter, personal development and social activities are provided for the consumers in a positive environment. The facility is staffed 24 hours a day by professional health care staff. West Cedar staff members work with and are supported by the local Mental Health Center personnel.

Lisa Shiley, Program Coordinator for The Pride Group wants this article to raise "Public Awareness" for Mental Health Services. "I would like the general public to understand that through proper treatment and management, persons with mental illness' and mental disabilities can be safely integrated within a community. Mental illness/disabilities are not prejudiced, they can affect anyone."

CCWS Provides Work Opportunities

Cherokee County Work Services, Inc., was the start for adult services to disabled citizens of Cherokee County 39 years ago this August and back then was known as Cherokee Training Center.  Later there was a name change and we were called Cherokee County Work Activity Center.  Today this facility provides work for the people they serve by doing packaging, document shredding, salvaging, small assembly, and laundry for area businesses.  Cherokee County Work Services, Inc., also provides training and assistance for those whose goal is to find employment in the community.

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