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The Larrabee Center evolved from the old “County Poor Farm” system where people lived and farmed in a communal environment.  In 1952, a three story building was built in the middle of Bremer County that became known as the Bremer County Care Facility.  In 1989, the Bremer County Board of Supervisors privatized the operation in order to access federal funds for the operation and gradually removed themselves from managing the operation.  In 1994, the agency became known as The Larrabee Center as a result of a staff contest for renaming the agency.  The Larrabee Center was chosen due to the acronym TLC represents Tender Loving Care and the fact that the address was Larrabee Ave which was named after Governor Larrabee.   In 1999, the decision to close the three story Residential Care Facility was made, and The Larrabee Center transitioned all operations to a community based setting. In 2010, TLC built an office and training center to house the administration and Community Support Services. 

Employment Support Services (previously Larrabee Vocational Center) – 1992 to Present

The Vocational Program began at the Residential Care Facility in 1992 serving 6 individuals, and expanded to the basement of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. In 1994, it relocated to Willow Lawn Mall, and began processing goods for sale in a thrift store which would open in June, 1995. The program initially was called Larrabee Vocational Center. The program moved to Collegetowne Plaza in 1996 in order to merge processing operations and the Thrift Store to one location. In 2003, TLC became a provider under Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Additional services were added as time went on such as ID Waiver-Pre Vocational in 2005, and Pre Vocational Habilitation in 2010. The program expanded to include educational classes for clients from 2009 until 2016 which were an important part of the transition to the community employment and Employment First Philosophy. In 2014, Small Group Work Crews contracted with community businesses and Integrated Employment Internships were introduced as an opportunity for clients to gain experience working in the community while maintaining vocational supports.  In 2015, Individual Supported Employment services including Job Development and Job Coaching were added to the menu of services offered. In 2016, the agency changed the name of the program to Employment Support Services (ESS).  ESS has maintained CARF accreditation since 1999.

Trinkets & Togs Thrift Store – 1995 to Present

Trinkets & Togs Thrift Store opened in June of 1995 in order to provide work to clients receiving services with Employment Support Services.  The store was located in a small building on East Bremer Avenue. Goods were transported daily from LVC which was located at Willow Lawn Mall.  Trinkets & Togs moved to a larger building located in Collegetowne Plaza in 1996 where clients could process goods in the adjacent space and become more active performing store functions like clerking, stocking, and janitorial functions.  In 1997, Trinkets & Togs expanded to an additional 3,000 sq. ft. and held the first annual fashion show in 2003. In 2007, Trinkets & Togs opened a second store in Parkersburg but unfortunately it was destroyed in a tornado in May 2008.  Meanwhile, during the summer of 2008 the Waverly store provided crisis assistance to 167 flood and tornado victims. In 2012, another Trinkets & Togs was opened in Grundy Center, and TLC continues to explore new markets and opportunities for clients. In March of 2015 a new iPad based cash register system was introduced at the store in order to train clients on current technology.  In November 2018, the new Cedar Falls Trinkets location was opened. It is noteworthy to mention in 1995 we held an internal contest to name the store and a client came up with the name Trinkets and Togs.  The name represents items sold at the store.

Supported Community Living Services (SCL, Habilitation, CDAC, BI & ID Waivers) – 1998 to Present

TLC began providing Supported Community Living services in Waverly utilizing one of the properties TLC purchased in 1998.  In 1999, TLC expanded the program to Shell Rock as a result of closing the Care Facility.  At this time, the program was serving 15 clients.  In 2000, TLC expanded services to provide Consumer Directed Attendant Care to individuals over 65 under the Elderly Waiver.  In 2001, TLC again expanded to provide services to adults with mental illness. In 2003, Waiver Services for persons with intellectual disabilities (ID) and persons with brain injuries (BI) were added. A year later, the agency refers to the entire program as (CSS) Community Support Services. In 2006, a new accessible duplex was built and services expanded by providing free transportation to Waverly residents with disabilities or over 50. In 2007, the agency began providing the new Home-Based Habilitation Services. The CSS program has maintained accreditation for SCL and ID/BI waiver services since their inception at the agency.