USG allocates $25,000 to support CommUnity Crisis Services

The group will allocate the money from its contingency fund to support CommUnity Crisis Services organization.


Madyson Gomez

The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Jan. 24, 2023.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government allocated $25,000 to CommUnity Crisis Services on Tuesday to support the organization’s food bank and mental health services. 

The bill, co-authored by Sen. Kyle Clare and Sen. Jack Carrell, is funded by USG’s contingency fund. The fund supports large-scale projects that help university staff, students, and the greater community.  

CommUnity Crisis Services provides support through different programs and resources such as a food bank, financial support program, and support groups. 

Adrianne Korbakes, Community Crisis Services chief operating officer, presented to USG before the debate on the legislation. 

“Our agency really focuses on crisis services, and so we recognize that crisis services can be something emotional, they can be financial, they can be food insecurity,” Korbakes said. 

Korbakes said the organization originally started in the 1970s but has expanded significantly since its establishment. 

“All of our services are free, which means nobody has to pay for any of the services that we provide. We don’t request insurance information. You don’t have to meet complicated criteria,” Korbakes said. 

The organization also offers a food bank with mobile pantries and delivery services. 

Korbakes said the number of people visiting the food pantry this year increased by about 30 percent. 

CommUnity also offers rent, utilities, and security deposit assistance in addition to allowing people to use the building address for mailing, Korbakes said. Additionally, it has a crisis line which has services available 24/7.

“We take hundreds of texts every month through Iowa and hundreds of phone calls as well as talking with Iowans about what might be going on for them,” Korbakes said. 

Korbakes said CommUnity serves as a backup responder for the 988 hotline. 

Sen. Paras Bassuk asked Korbakes if the crisis line ever defers to 911 and brings in emergency responders, to which she responded that they aim to avoid that type of response.

“So, we really try to avoid sending law enforcement to anybody’s house without their knowledge, and it happens incredibly infrequently, and there are very, very strict criteria that need to be met,” Korbakes said. “We really are focused on trying to encourage individuals from the criminal justice system and also in the hospital when it’s appropriate.”