This June, Becci Reedus celebrated her 10th anniversary as director of The Crisis Center.
Jumping into relief efforts during the Flood of 2008
She will tell you herself that it’s been a wild ride right from the start, with her first day falling on the day the water crested in 2008. Immediately, she jumped into the midst of The Crisis Center’s local disaster relief efforts. Quickly, she learned that this community was truly special.
Becci has never looked back, trailblazing new, impactful programs that make a difference each year.
Pioneering one of the first crisis chat services
In 2011, The Crisis Center launched one of the very first crisis chat services in the nation, complementing its 24-hour crisis line that has existed since the organization was founded in 1970. Soon, The Crisis Center became a core center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline chat network, providing guidance to other organizations founding chat services in their areas. Now, the Crisis Intervention Program answers more than 27,000 crisis contacts annually. This is a 300 percent increase from the 7,000 contacts that were responded to in 2008.
Meeting more need in the community through the Food Bank and Emergency Assistance Programs
The food bank’s ability to meet local need has also grown as a direct result of Becci’s leadership, from fewer than 40,000 food assists annually in 2008 to about 53,000 in 2018. Similarly, the Emergency Assistance Program, which helps Johnson County residents pay past-due housing and utility bills, went from helping about 360 families to more than 900 families per year.
Going mobile: mobile crisis outreach and mobile pantry
In recent years, Becci has pushed The Crisis Center to go mobile. In February 2015, The Crisis Center launched the mobile crisis outreach program, which dispatches counselors to mental health situations in Johnson and Iowa Counties. With a staff of just three full-time and numerous on-call counselors, the program will exceed 600 contacts this year and boasts a hospital and jail diversion rate of more than 80 percent.
Food bank services have also gone mobile, opening up eight mobile pantry sites across Johnson County to better serve those who cannot access the food bank for lack of transportation, daycare, or because they are not physically able. This would not have been possible without the help of a grant from Johnson County Social Services and Becci’s determination.
Finding the funds to make it all happen
With all this growth has come the increase in the budget. From a steep increase in the amount of funds raised from the community each year to the acquisition of local, state, and national contracts, The Crisis Center’s annual operating budget has more than tripled to meet the need in the community. Becci has overseen the steady growth of the organization from a small to mid-sized nonprofit with grace.
Grace, determination, and passion have defined Becci Reedus’s tenure at The Crisis Center and we thank her for her continued leadership.