Merrick, Inc.’s History
Established in 1964 with the support of the Christ Child Society, we opened for services in the Merrick Community Center (named after the Christ Child Society founder Mary Virginia Merrick) on the East Side of St. Paul; and began serving 15 young adults with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) that lived at home and could not secure adequate services,
For many years to come, the common perception of society was that people with I/DD needed to be “cared for and kept busy.” As a result, our services were first designed to be mostly recreational in nature as reflected in our original name: Merrick Day Activity Center (DAC).
With advocates demanding that people with I/DD return to their communities from state hospitals and receive a public education, the need for appropriate activities during the day for graduates and adults grew and we expanded to include a location on Payne Avenue. At this time in Merrick’s history, advocates recognized that people in DAC programs had an interest in, and were capable of, working. Initially this interest was met by bringing assembling, sorting, and packaging work, which was out-sourced by businesses, on-site to be finished by clients at the DAC program (when not using the person’s name we use the term “client” to affirm that they have chosen us as their provider).
Now, Merrick, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, licensed by the MN Department of Human Services to provide:
- Day Support Services;
- Employment Waivers;
- Prevocational Services; and
- Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
Through our two program sites, and charitable gambling division, we provide support to nearly 400 adults with I/DD and employ more than 165 professional staff.
Based out of our Vadnais Heights offices, we offer a variety of business solutions that are cost effective, meet or exceed business partners’ service or production standards, and include the support necessary to make the partnership successful. Some examples of our client workforce capabilities include:
In addition to offering work through our business solutions, we also offer life enrichment and therapeutic programs for clients that have retired, cannot work because of health concerns, or have chosen not to work. In the summer of 2012, we opened our second program site in downtown North St. Paul.