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Comprehensive Systems marks 45th anniversary

Comprehensive Systems marks 45th anniversary

To the Press

One of Charles City’s real success stories can be found at 1700 Clark St., where the Chamber Ambassadors recently stopped by to help celebrate the 45th anniversary of Comprehensive Systems, Inc. Established in 1970, Comprehensive Systems is an accredited, community-based, private, non-profit corporation that provides support to more than 300 individuals with special needs. Their array of services include residential, vocational and day services in a five-county area, with facilities in Mason City, Cedar Falls, New Hampton and Osage in addition to Charles City.

“Charles City is still our headquarters,” said Executive Director Jack Brown. “It all began right here (at 1700 Clark) in the former Floyd County Hospital. There was a family in town that had a child that needed something done that wasn’t available. Everyone worked together to make it happen and to provide what was needed. We started with just two units in this building and rapidly grew from there. It really took off, so rapidly in fact that it was hard to keep up.”

He said Comp Systems started getting calls from all over the state of Iowa and paved the way for the care of special needs clients in the state. “Now there is a lot of stability, but we still have some waiting lists,” Brown reported.

The main facility in town houses 44 residential consumers. Between all of its facilities, Comprehensive Systems employs between 500-600 full and part-time employees in the region.

“We’re no longer serving as many children as we used to. It’s pretty much young adults and adults,” Brown said of their consumers. “We have some very high-functioning people and we also have some very medically fragile people.”

In addition to residential care and services, Comp Systems also offers respite services, supported living and community integration support, as well as employment training. “We have day activities in the old Labor Center, helping to develop any skills that they may have,” said Brown.

The director added how much Comprehensive Systems appreciates and enjoys the support from the community, as well as a great partnership with Floyd County. Looking ahead, he said the biggest challenge before them is the transition with managed care coming into the state of Iowa. “That will be a big change for us as we’re still not certain what the impact will be yet,” Brown said. “We’re still planning on keeping everything in Charles City, though. This is our home.”

For more information about Comprehensive Services, Inc., call (641) 228-4842 or visit the website at

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