Celebrating 100 Years of Jane Boyd Community House

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In 1921, a forward-thinking teacher and social worker named Jane Boyd founded the Community House—a place where people from the most-vulnerable communities in Cedar Rapids could connect with resources to help meet their basic needs. At a time when federal welfare programs did not yet exist, Jane pioneered a holistic approach to enhance the academic, emotional, and social well-being of children and their families.

“Over time, program offerings have changed,” former Jane Boyd Executive Director Dorice Ramsey said. “The needs from 1921 are very different from the needs of today.”

What hasn’t changed is Jane Boyd Community House’s commitment to remain flexible and respond to emergent community needs.

“Jane Boyd is all about resiliency,” said current Director Megan Isenberg. “During the floods of 2008 and 2017, we opened our doors as a crisis supply center and for drop-in childcare. Throughout the pandemic and the derecho, we adjusted to a constantly changing educational environment and have remained fully operational for in-person programming.”

Community support makes it all possible.

In FY21, with a $25,000 gift from Alliant Energy, Jane Boyd launched a campaign to raise $100,000 in honor of the organization’s 100 years of service.

“We are so fortunate to have partners like Alliant who care deeply about the future of our community,” Megan said. “With the help of our supporters, I look forward to continuing our work of empowering children and families for many years to come.”