Services offered by the Crisis Center are still available 24 hours a day, Brown said, and include assistance with the legal system, work with the Department of Human Resources, counseling and support groups.
"While the shelter as we know it is closed, we're still taking a whole case management approach," she said. "We want to develop options and ways to move people quickly into permanent housing."
The regionalization eliminated local shelters, closing the Ottumwa shelter and forcing people to go to either Oskaloosa or Des Moines.
"We have much higher poverty rates than much of the state, which creates more challenges," she said. "This now means we have no shelters in the bottom two tiers of counties, which is the poverty pocket."
And it's often much more difficult for those living in rural communities to go to an urban area, like Des Moines, even if something as important as a shelter is needed.
"We don't want people to leave the community for services," Brown said. "We don't want to disrupt the natural supports already in place in the rural communities."
• The board approved a resolution to appropriate amended funds for the 2013-14 Fiscal Year.
• They heard a second report from Colonial Life Insurance on coverage for county employees. The current life insurance policy runs through July 30, 2015, so no action was taken at this time. The information will be passed on to the county's insurance specialist for study.