CIRSI: Helping those with disabilities achieve independence

Central Iowa Residential Services, Inc. (CIRSI) has been providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Marshall County for more than 39 years.

CIRSI’s mission is to provide individualized services to children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities … helping them achieve greater independence through living, learning and doing.

A year ago CIRSI moved to a new location at 111 E. Linn St. The new office is larger and can accommodate all of CIRSI’s services at one location. The adult day program, casework services and administration are now all under one roof. Efficiencies will increase with employees no longer traveling back and forth across town. The efficiencies from having all of our services in a larger building with more office space have allowed us to serve 14 additional persons who had been waiting a long time for services.

Services provided by CIRSI include Supported Community Living (SCL). Michelle rents a home and shares living expenses with three other women. Just like many other households in Marshalltown, Michelle has a house to clean, a yard to maintain, bills to pay, doctor appointments, groceries and shopping to be done, meals to prepare, laundry to do, places to go and people to see for fun. It just so happens that Michelle has an intellectual disability and needs some support and training from staff to accomplish these day to day activities. Her support is 24 hours a day.

Kyle lives by himself in a one bedroom apartment and receives training and support for some of the same things as Michelle, but the amount of service Kyle needs is only 25 hours per month. SCL provides levels of support ranging from 24 hours a day to just a few hours a month, depending on the individual’s needs. 170 persons currently utilize this type of service. Some individuals once resided in state institutions or other out-of-county placements, but have been able to move back to Marshall County, close to family and friends.

Some individuals have moved from living in a 24 hour group setting to living in their own place. Last year, CIRSI provided over 15,000 hours of service to people living in their own homes or apartments. Most could not live on their own without these supports.

CIRSI also provides families with temporary, periodic relief from the day-to-day care of their child or adult son or daughter … this is called Respite Care. Respite care can prevent or delay the placement of an individual into a more structured and costly setting. The respite care service gives care givers a break so they can run errands or spend some one-on-one time with their spouse or other children. CIRSI provides about 5,000 hours of respite care annually.

Another service offered by CIRSI is an Adult Day Program. The goal is to provide physical, social and recreational activities to individuals who are not able to participate in traditional vocational or work experience settings. The only option for some individuals after completing school would be to sit at home if it weren’t for the adult day program. Instead, individuals experience opportunities for socialization, exercise and fitness, arts and crafts, book club, games and other leisure activities. Twenty individuals participate in the day program which operates Monday through Friday.

Through CIRSI, individuals can also participate in a Sports and Recreation Program which includes Special Olympics. Approximately 80 people take part in competitions at the district and state level for bowling in the fall and track and field events in the spring. To encourage good overall health and combat a sedentary lifestyle, CIRSI coordinates a year round walking group that meets regularly at the YMCA.

CIRSI has been a member of the Marshalltown Area United Way for many years and we thank everyone who has pledged to contribute to the campaign this year. CIRSI uses United Way funding for home maintenance and for consumer needs that are not funded by other sources … helping them to achieve greater independence through living, learning and doing. For additional information about CIRSI call 641-752-5762.