Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center | Waterloo, IA

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About Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center

Over the past sixty-eight years, our services have touched over 60,000 individuals/families in our catchment area. With over 6,000 individuals who rely upon us for their services and a staff of approximately 80, we continue our efforts to respond to identified community needs in developing our services and programs.

Our History

In 1949, a group of citizens on the Social Services Council in Black Hawk County began discussing the need for a mental health center in our community. These meetings, facilitated by Opal Fore, a visiting social worker from the Iowa Mental Health Authority, Glenda Mabrey, a teacher with the Waterloo Public Schools and Blair Wood, the Black Hawk County Attorney, resulted in the election of the first Board of Directors in December 1949.

On March 21, 1950, the Center opened for business with three offices located at 420 Commercial Street. In five short years, The Center had outgrown the space available and a move was made to the corner of West 11th and Washington Street. Again, the demand for service exceeded the staff and space resources available and a waiting list for services was established. Sometimes, it took as long as six to ten months to be seen.

The Mental Health Center's first Executive Director, Jack Joelson was hired in November 1955 and in 1957, the agency moved yet again to the Community Services Building located at 2530 University Avenue. Dr. Harold Korner was hired as the first Medical Director in 1961 and in 1964, we began providing services to residents of Grundy County.

In the fall of 1966, a new building totaling 5,000 square feet was completed at 3251 West 9th Street. In 1988, we opened our Community Support Center at 907 Independence Avenue for our Outreach, Drop In and Homeless Programs. This facility closed in 2003 due to budget constraints.

In 2001, we added a 6,000 square foot addition to our main building. We began leasing space in the Black's Building in 2006 for our Mental Health Recovery/Peer Support Center and in 2011, our second building project at our main office was completed which provided much needed office and meeting room space.

With our affiliation with UnityPoint Health Allen Health Systems in 2015, we began leasing space there for one of our Integrated Health Home Teams, allowing them easy access to clients in need of this service. Due to the expansion of our Integrated Health Home and Peer Support Program, we leased additional office space on Commercial Street in Waterloo in early 2017.