HSS Clients Working to Beautify City

May 19th, 2017


HSS is excited to announce that some of our clients will now be working with the City of Waterloo to help beautify the community!

Through a new partnership with the city, our clients will work to keep the streets of downtown clean and continue the mayor’s ongoing efforts of beautification.

“Our clients our thrilled with this new employment opportunity, and love being an integral part of our community’s success,” said HSS Chief Program Officer Anne King. “We appreciate this new partnership with the city, as well as their ongoing support of the work that we do with our clients every day.”

Residents may see HSS clients performing their new jobs some weekday mornings – just look for them in the bright yellow safety vests!

“Our clients are hard-working and resourceful,” King said. “Many of them perform volunteer tasks in our community and hold a variety of jobs. We hope this partnership will begin to highlight the many talents of the clients we serve, and will lead to other opportunities for employment with local businesses.”

HSS Clients Give Back & Get Job Skills in Return

May 12th, 2017
Rachel volunteers at the Mayfest

Rachel volunteers at the Mayfest

Our clients love it when they get the opportunity to give back to our community.

When those opportunities also happen to teach them job skills, it’s even more exciting.

For the last several years, clients from our residences have been volunteering behind the scenes at the Mayfest, Octoberfest and Downtown Concert Series in downtown Waterloo.

They empty trash cans, refill liners and move straw bales – performing the maintenance work to keep the Courthouse grounds tidy for the duration of the event.

While these tasks aren’t glamorous, they’re vital to the success of the events.

Even better, our clients learn valuable skills through this volunteer effort, including:

  • Listening to instructions
  • Reporting for work on time
  • Completing a task
  • Working as a team
  • Serving a community purpose

For some clients, these events have led to job opportunities elsewhere in the community.

Clients all say they enjoy volunteering at the festivals, and love to attend as patrons.

James, who volunteered at this year’s Mayfest, said he likes that he can listen to the music while he volunteers.

“I like to keep the street clean,” he said.

Thanks to the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and the Monroe County House of Neighborly Service for their support of this program.

Steven picks up strawbales after the first concert of the new Downtown Concert Series

Steven picks up strawbales after the first concert of the new Downtown Concert Series

Parent Counseling Services

April 25th, 2017

It doesn't have to be this way.we can help

It’s 2 a.m. and the sound of the baby crying startles you awake.

With a groan of despair, you roll over in bed and stare at the white bassinet beside you. Tiny fists punch the air and little legs kick frantically as your daughter wails in infant fury.

Her cries get louder but you can’t seem to move.

Why? Why won’t she sleep?

People keep saying that infants are supposed to sleep a lot, but not yours.  She wakes up crying four, five, six times a night. She barely sleeps during the day.

Your husband said he’d rather go to the bar than put up with “that kid” crying all night.

No big loss. He never helped much anyway. Now he mostly just passes out on the couch and stumbles off to work in the morning, muttering about how a good mom would be able to keep the kid quiet.

So it’s all on you. It’s always on you.

And right now, you’re so tired you can barely lift your head from the pillow. And she just won’t stop crying.

She’s had two bottles and a fresh diaper.

What else can she want?

Tears sting the back of your eyes as you lie there feeling worthless and frustrated. Maybe you’re just not cut out for motherhood.

Maybe your husband is right – if you were a good mom, your baby would sleep and wouldn’t cry so much.

The other moms, the ones you see at the doctor’s office and in the grocery store, they look like they know what they’re doing. Their babies aren’t always crying.

Caught between desperation, grief and anger, you yank the pillow from under your head and pull it over your face to drown out her cries.

You just need one minute of silence and maybe a few hours of sound sleep. You just need time to think!

Why won’t she stop crying! Doesn’t she know you’re doing your best?

You sit up in bed and stare at the bassinet, a wash of irrational anger coming over you. You don’t want to feel angry – she’s just a baby. Your baby.

But it’s like she’s doing this to you on purpose. The guilt and the anger war inside you as you clench the sheets in your fists.

Stop crying! Stop!

Please, please Lord make her stop crying. . .

In these moments of despair, there is hope.

Human Support Services, a private nonprofit based in Monroe County, can help parents and families before a crisis emerges.

Caring for a small child is difficult and stressful, even in the best of circumstances.

The sleepless nights, the sense of helplessness – it’s all a part of new parenthood most of us can relate to.

But when you factor in other stressors – mental health concerns, physical illness, financial burdens and strained adult relationships – a night such as this can be a terrifying breaking point.

An exhausted parent with no support system, crippled by extreme emotional duress, can make a decision that could endanger themselves or their child.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we believe education, intervention and support are crucial factors in helping prevent child abuse and neglect.

Human Support Services is here to help parents get the resources they need before they reach that breaking point.

We offer counseling for mothers battling postpartum depression, parents facing mental and behavioral health concerns, and families struggling to manage outside stress.

We also provide a variety of other services aimed at building stronger, healthier families.

Our staff teaches coping mechanisms, parenting skills, self-esteem building techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapeutic interventions to help parents address their concerns and find positive outcomes.

We’re here to show new parents they are not alone, and to provide them with the resources, tools and self-confidence to be the best parents they can be.

If you or someone you know could benefit from individual, family or child services, contact HSS at 618-939-4444.

Human Support Services Selects New Executive Director

April 19th, 2017

Anne King

The board of directors of Human Support Services (HSS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Monroe County, has selected Anne King to succeed longtime Executive Director Robert J. Cole when he retires in September.

King, a licensed clinical social worker, is currently serving as the nonprofit’s chief program officer.
She​ will become the first female to serve as executive director of the nonprofit when she takes over on August 1.

“Since joining our organization in 2014, Anne has expressed a tremendous commitment to making Human Support Services Monroe County’s primary resource for excellent, accessible and affordable services for those affected by mental and behavioral health concerns and developmental disabilities,” said Janice Crawford, president of the HSS b​oard of d​irectors. “Her familiarity with our agency, her leadership role in the greater community, and the accomplishments she has already achieved at our organization made her the front-runner in a field of strong applicants.”

King serves on the executive board of the Monroe County Coalition for Drug-Free Communities and is a consultant to the House of Neighborly Services.

Over the last year, King has trained dozens of first responders, clergy and community members in Mental Health First Aid, a program dedicated to educating the public on how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress.

“HSS plays a pivotal role in Monroe County – we are one of the top 10 employers, and we provide services that are invaluable to our clients and the community at large,” King said. “It is an honor to be given the opportunity to build on that foundation, and to strengthen our community partnerships and relationships.”

Before she joined HSS, King served as vice president and chief program officer of Hoyleton Youth and Family Services. She also worked in leadership positions at several other human services agencies in the region. She earned a master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University in 2002.

Cole, who has served as HSS executive director for 11 years, joined the organization after 20 years of leadership roles in community mental health centers in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

During his tenure at HSS Cole led an expansion of the agency’s residential programs and provided strong financial leadership during a prolonged period of financial stress due to State of Illinois funding cutbacks.

Cole is only the second person to fill the leadership role for the organization.  Jim Poschel served as executive director of Human Support Services for the first 33 years.

​Human Support Services was founded in 1973 to provide a local source of mental health services in Monroe County.

Since that time, HSS has expanded to include a full range of outpatient mental health services; an affordable housing program for persons with disabilities; a day and work services program for persons needing assistance in acquiring vocational and independent living skills and experience; and DUI/DWI services.​

Mental Health First Aid for Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Corrections Division

March 10th, 2017


Anne King, LCSW and Chief Program Officer for HSS, provided an 8-hour certification course on Mental Health First Aid to members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department on February 27-28.  Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a program that aims to teach members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress.  Mental Health First Aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  The “first aid” is given until the appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.  MHFA also strives to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems by providing education and promoting better understanding of the experiences of people with mental health problems.  For more information on how your group can receive this valuable training, please contact Anne at 618-939-4444.