Frequently Asked Questions
What services does Merrick offer?
- Day Support Services (life enrichment): Provides individualized in-center and community based training and support services that help clients maintain essential and personally enriching life skills so they can access and participate in activities they prefer in the community which include; community inclusion; direct and indirect therapies including horticulture, music, recreation, and yoga therapy; arts and crafts; sensory activities; positive behavior support planning; augmented communication including assistive technology and American Sign Language; and enriched staff to client ratios to support needs including self-care, mobility, visual or hearing impairments, and/or history of intense maladaptive behaviors, (e.g. development, physical aggression, property destruction, self-injurious behavior, or co-diagnosis of mental illness).
- Prevocational Services (onsite or workcrews): Provides center-based work skills training and support services that focus on strengthening clients ‘fundamental work skills and achieving individualized work skill goals through meaningful work experiences and vocational training, and advance clients toward competitively paid employment. This service offers clients the opportunity to work on contracts completed at our building in Vadnais Heights, or employer-based options for placement of clients and work crews at the business location. Another area of focus is life enrichment activities – creating opportunities for clients to articulate their needs and desires, build relationships, participate in social opportunities, develop leadership skills, and reach personal goals.
- DTH Services: Provide licensed supports, work and life enriching and satisfying activities that are offered in Day Support and Prevocational Services listed above. To be eligible for DT&H services a person must reside in an ICF/DD and have their health and safety in the community addressed in their plan of care.
- Employment Services: This service provides the following activities to clients interested in exploring employment interests; developing skills to secure competitive, meaningful, and sustained employment; and ongoing support for success:
- Assessment that takes them through a process that will help them and us learn what they value in life and work. What jobs they would like to consider, what skills they have, and what barriers exist.
- Opportunity for clients to visit different job sites to better ensure they can make an informed choice.
- Career Developmental Plan that for each client they support that focuses on their work and soft skills that need improvement to have success in their employment of choice.
- Assistance in the hiring process, negotiation of employment, completion of orientation, and ongoing intermittent support to the specific needs of the employer and client.
- Clients hired directly by the employer are permitted to use services to further develop work and soft skills needed to maintain their current job and/or consider other options.
- Remote Services: Merrick may provide the services listed above remotely in a limited capacity when requested by the client and their representatives and when the resources needed to provide them are available.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS): Funded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, VRS empowers people with disabilities to achieve their goals for competitive, integrated employment and career development. These services, which vary by individual needs, could include job counseling, job search assistance, training, and job placement services. VRS continue for as long as individuals are making progress toward employment goals and provides for follow-up services to maintain, regain, or advance in employment consistent with the person’s interests, strengths, resources, and priorities
Who is eligible for services?
To be eligible for Day Support Services, a person must meet all the following conditions:
- Be 18 years of age or older and have a diagnosis of developmental/intellectual disability or a related condition;
- Receive a screening for home and community-based services or reside in an Intermediate Care Facility for people with developmental disabilities (ICF/DD);
- If under the age of 25, complete the WIOA Section 511 process with the Department of Employment and Economic Development; and
- Have their health and safety in the community addressed in their plan of care.
Where do clients at Merrick live?
Approximately 64% of the clients we serve live in group home settings, about 26% live with their parents or other family members, and 10% live on their own.
Do clients get paid for the work they do?
The short answer is yes. More than 50 of the clients we serve are paid directly by the employer at, or above minimum wage. For those working as part of a crew or onsite, we operate under a commensurate wage certificate (14c) monitored and enforced by the Department of Labor. For more info on this topic, we suggest you read our Executive Director’s blog post, Client Wages, found at this link: https://merrickinc.org/barks-bytes/wages/
Do clients bring their own lunches?
Yes, clients bring their lunches which are kept in refrigerators for those staying onsite, and we provide microwaves to heat lunches. Sometimes work crews or small groups go out to eat or host onsite pizza parties.
How does transportation work?
We contract with our partner nonprofit, Newtrax, to provide transportation based on each’s client’s needs. Once a client is enrolled at Merrick, Newtrax works with the client’s home to determine the transportation schedule. Additionally, Merrick helps coordinate rides for approximately 70 clients that use the MTC, Metro Mobility, and Lyft/Uber, to get from home to the program and back. More information on transportation is available here.
If I’m interested in becoming a client or have a family member who might be interested in Merrick, what is my next step?
Complete our online admission application. You may also contact Program Director Kristine Orubo at KristineO@MerrickInc.org or by phone at (651) 789-6206 if you have additional questions regarding intake, referrals, or transition.
When was Merrick founded?
We began as Merrick Day Activity Center in 1964 on the East Side of St. Paul with the support of the Christ Child Society offering services out of the Merrick Community Center for 15 young adults with I/DD. Read more about Merrick’s history at https://merrickinc.org/history/
How many clients does Merrick serve?
We currently serve nearly 400 clients and more than 90% have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
How many employees work at Merrick?
We employ approximately 165 people and of those engaged with clients more than 75% have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
- How do I apply to work at Merrick as a staff member?
Where is Merrick located?
Merrick, Inc., has two program sites both of which are in Vadnais Heights: our Employment Services Program at 3210 Labore Road and our Life Enrichment Program at 1239 Willow Lake Boulevard. For specific driving directions and parking information, visit: https://merrickinc.org/merrick-inc-s-locations/.
- Can I schedule a visit?