50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 years

Foundation 2 was established in 1970 by students at Cedar Rapid’s Coe College and Kennedy High School. In the decades since, we have continued to provide quality, innovative mental health care in the Cedar Rapids community. We continue to meet our mission to be a trusted support when life gets tough.  All people. Any time. Every time.

The Beginning

In 1970, a group of Coe College and Kennedy High School students came together to open Foundation II (later renamed Foundation 2 in the 1990s) at a small house, donated by Coe College, on C Avenue NE in Cedar Rapids.

At the time, the nation was in the middle of tremendous social change. Issues like drugs, sexuality and women’s issues resulted in mental health needs that were not being met through mainstream providers. The young people who launched Foundation 2 sought to fill those gaps with accessible, judgement-free support.

Foundation 2 services have evolved over the last 50 years, but our desire to be a trusted support in times of need has remained the same. As we celebrate the first half century, we look forward to the opportunities to positively impact people for years to come.

A Message from Foundation 2's CEO Emily Blomme

Fifty years ago, we set out to be a trusted support when life got tough, and we continue to do this every day across Iowa. Crisis does not discriminate and can – and does – happen to anyone. We’re available for All People who need us, Any Time challenges arise, and Every Time someone might need us – knowing that people may rely on our support multiple times a day, week, month, or year. Each time they reach out, we are here to help, ready to carry their struggles with them, lighten their load and support their next steps.

We have seen our agency grow and change in the last 50 years, always diligently working to provide the right level of crisis care, at the right time, to keep people safe and supported – through crisis line support, mobile crisis outreach, the youth shelter and more. We know that the earlier the
contact, the better the outcome. Changing and saving lives continues to be at the heart of who we are and what do. If you have been personally impacted by mental health challenges, watched those you love suffer, or know someone who has been impacted by the work we do, please consider making an
anniversary gift to our organization at a level that is meaningful to you online or at our administrative mailing address.

We value you – our clients, supporters, donors, and partners. We couldn’t do this work without you and we’re honored to be a trusted agency when life gets tough for you and those you care about.

Emily Blomme
Foundation 2 Chief Executive Officer

50th Anniversary Postcard

Looking back over 50 years of dedication

July 6, 1970: Foundation 2 is founded by Kennedy High School and Coe College students in Cedar Rapids, IA.

1970: The Crisis Center opens from 4 p.m. to midnight daily and is operated largely by volunteers. The annual operating budget was $30,000.

1976-1979: The Crisis Center moves to 24/7 services to provide around-the-clock care.

1976-1979: Kent Jackson is hired as the Executive Director.

1984-1989: Foundation II opens as a 5-6 bed youth shelter for run away and homeless youth.

1984-1989: The Crisis Center is certified by the American Association of Suicidology.

1984-1989: Steve Meyer is hired as the Executive Director.

1992-1994: New programming is added in Cedar Rapids schools and Johnson and Benton counties. The annual operating budget reaches $1 million.

1990s: Foundation II becomes Foundation 2.

2003-2004: Mobile Crisis Outreach program launches in Linn county.

2006-2007: Crisis Center food pantry expands services to fill food gaps. These services were available until 2017.

2008: Barb Gay is hired as the Executive Director.

2009: Juvenile & Fast Assistance Stabilization Track (J-FAST) pilot project launches.

2011: Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) support programming starts for youth in out-of-home placement.

2015: Emily Blomme is hired as the Executive Director.

2015: Crisis chat and text services begin.

2016: Mobile Crisis Outreach expands across region.

2017-2018: Co-responder model starts with the Cedar Rapids police for mental health calls.

2018: The Green Bandana Project launches with area schools to promote mental health awareness and support.

2019: Foundation 2 mission changes to “To be a trusted support with life gets touch. All people. Any time. Every time.”

2020: Crisis services adapt to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with remote mental health care services.