Reynolds said that similar to the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state, they also would like to employ the most with disabilities.
Skyline started as a daycare center in 1963 and evolved over time as their clients aged in order to meet their needs.
“It all started because parents with children with disabilities didn’t have any place to turn in the community. A lot of them had to be institutionalized,” Executive Director Jack Robinson said. “They wanted to keep those kids in the community so we started Skyline Center.”
Since its inception, Skyline officials have added new facilities, helped start Clinton County’s recycling program and done a number of other things to enhance their consumers’ lives.
Around 87 people work at the warehouse, 72 are in community living program and 45 receive home healthcare. The organization also boasts 125 staff members.
As much as the past 50 years have been marked with positives for the non-profit organization, it has not been without some challenges.
Specifically, in the past two years, Skyline Center had to adjust to the mental health and disability redesign.
“There are some frustrations with change and some people feel threatened by change, but we really feel that the redesign is going to bring better services and less wasteful expenses,” Branstad said.
The Skyline Center lost the $27 per consumer, per diem funds they received from Clinton County. While the organization receives some state funding instead, Robinson said it’s unclear what will happen to those funds in the next two years.
“That’s been hard for us,” Robinson said. “We had to apply for Medicaid services for as many people as would qualify and we don’t know where that’s going to go.”
Despite the challenges the mental health and disability redesign presented, Skyline leaders are optimistic about the future of their organization and their consumers.
“We’ve grown a lot. We really have. If the next 25 years are anything like the last 50, wow,” Schilling said.