Project HOPE Needs Assessment Key Findings Now Available

Key Findings: Mental Health 

  • Need for increased provider coordination
  • Medicaid and funding challenges
  • Difficulty meeting specialized and changing needs
  • Lack of options for
  • dual-diagnosis patients
  • Limited capacity
  • Lack of prescribing providers

Key Findings: Child Care

  • Low pay for providers
  • Challenges in changing standards and regulations
  • Challenges and opportunities in professional development
  • Difficulties navigating complex licensing and regulations
  • Low-income families disproportionately affected
  • New information about different types of child care parents need as well as barriers faced in finding care. 

Local Stories 

Brynn, who suffers from major depression, moved to Dubuque in 2015. After signing up for Medicaid, she had to wait three months to see a general practitioner to be referred to a psychiatrist for treatment, then another eight months for an appointment. In the meantime, she struggled to manage her disease and its detrimental effects on her daily life.

Nia began her search for child care for her daughter immediately after she moved to Dubuque. It took her six months to find a center with a full-time opening. Even then, she had to settle for one that did not offer the special support she wanted for her daughter. 

These are just two stories uncovered by recent needs assessments focused on mental health and child care services. In 2016, the Community Foundation and the United Way partnered with the Project HOPE Network in this effort to collect data about the needs and barriers to accessing these systems, and to learn from people like Brynn and Nia about the real impact of these challenges. 

In early February, more than 30 mental health stakeholders gathered to review the mental health key findings and discuss how to work together to build long-term strategies and align systems to address the recommendations. Child care stakeholders will convene in April to have a similar conversation. 

Project HOPE seeks to increase access to education and career opportunities for all by creating awareness and exploring solutions to systemic barriers. The hope is that these needs assessments will serve as resources to help inform the work of those in the field; influence current programming; aid efforts to obtain funding and resources; and provide data to help engage policy makers.

Download the full key findings reports for each focus area at



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About Us
Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque strengthens communities and inspires giving. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Northeast Iowa by serving donors, making grants to local nonprofit organizations, and providing community leadership through convening and collaboration. Guided by the values of integrity, equity and inclusion, collaboration, excellence and innovation, we seek to ensure a vibrant and inclusive Greater Dubuque region with resources and opportunity for all.