The Larrabee Center is excited to acknowledge and celebrate Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition week, a national celebration honoring the tens of thousands of workers enabling individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to live and work in their community.

The week recognizes the dedication and hard work of the outstanding DSPs and their contributions to the disability community here in Bremer County, throughout Iowa and across the country. At the City Council meeting Monday, Mayor Hoffman signed a proclamation declaring Sept. 12-18, 2021, Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in Waverly. We appreciate the Mayor and the Waverly City Council for recognizing and honoring the work of direct support professionals in our community.

What is a DSP? A Direct Support Professional provides mental health and disability support and services. Because of their efforts, many Iowans are living, learning and working in their communities – not stuck in institutions. DSPs support over 160,000 Iowans with a variety of disabilities and are often working in our communities without being noticed. Their work is essential and during COVID, became a life line to so many in our community. DSPs stepped up and continued to ensure the individuals served had their needs met with added safety mitigation efforts.

The Direct Support Professionals (DSP) of The Larrabee Center provide essential services to the people we serve within our communities. Bonnie Gesell, executive director, shares, “Our DSPs truly embrace our mission to assist clients to become or remained valued members of their community. They are that helpful hand in assisting with daily needs and the trusted person our clients go to when they need guidance or just want someone to listen.”

The Larrabee Center’s 23 direct support professionals provide individualized assistance to our clients and collectively have over 157 years of experience. They provide support and assistance in the areas of meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking, maintaining/cleaning the home, budgeting and money skills, community inclusion, social/leisure, maintaining physical and mental health, and transportation, as well as employment supports like job development and job coaching.

The Larrabee Center is a nonprofit agency dedicated to assisting persons with disabilities and the elderly to become or remain valued members of the community. Individualized in-home, community and employment supports are provided to individuals in Bremer, Butler and Grundy Counties to increase independence and inclusion. Learn more about services offered at The Larrabee Center and how you can join our team at