NAMI Dubuque plans move, new program center

A Dubuque nonprofit that provides brain-health supports plans to move to a new location and launch a new program center by the first quarter of next year.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Dubuque, whose offices currently are located in the Schmid Innovation Center at 900 Jackson St., will move to 225 W. Sixth St. which also houses United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States.

NAMI Dubuque Executive Director Britni Farber said the organization has outgrown its approximately 400-square-foot facility, which includes office and work spaces. The new 3,700-square-foot facility will feature a welcome space, conference room, administrative offices, kitchenette and supportive therapy rooms.

“We have grown to the point where we need space because the demand and the need for our services is so high,” she said. “We want to expand from our current model to a more open program model, where our goal is to have programming available throughout the week, not just intermittently.”

NAMI Dubuque provides free support groups and classes for those facing brain health concerns, along with their families or caregivers. Support groups meet once or twice per month, while classes are held weekly for eight to 12 weeks.

Danielle Leibfried, President and CEO of United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, said the space NAMI Dubuque will be renting previously was occupied by Hillcrest Family Services. The building also houses local nonprofits Fountain of Youth and Hawkeye Area Community Action Program.

Leibfried said United Way officials look forward to the collaborative opportunities the arrival of NAMI Dubuque will present.

“I think that it will be a great fit for an additional service to have right there in the building,” she said. “We do a lot of cross referrals within the community, so having people have access to NAMI’s peer support groups will be excellent.”

Farber said NAMI Dubuque currently has nine facilitators who lead support groups and classes, and the organization expects to double that number after an upcoming facilitator training.

“By expanding and adding to our roster of facilitators and teachers, we can add more specific support groups,” Farber said, noting that she would like to add groups for women, adolescents and those struggling with anxiety and eating disorders. “Having this bigger space allows us to be incredibly intentional with what we’re offering to the community.”

Farber said NAMI officials will begin renovating their new space in November, with plans for a soft opening in February and a grand opening in March.

The organization has a goal to raise $100,000 for the new space. Farber said about $67,500 has been raised so far from a group of “angel investors” and a $10,000 grant from Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.

Those interested in donating can contact Farber at