Our vision is "A Barrier-Free Northwest Missouri."

We are Northwest Missouri's Center for Independent Living

More than half of our board members and staff have a disability. We use our personal experiences to see the abilities that people have, and we respect people for who they are.

We believe people with disabilities should have control over their own lives, achieve their own goals, and fully participate in their communities.

Since 1994, MERIL has provided five core services for people with disabilities in Northwest Missouri:

  • Information and referral
  • Independent living skills training
  • Transition services (youth and nursing home)
  • Peer support
  • Advocacy

Learn more about Centers for Independent Living in Missouri at www.mosilc.org.

MERIL service area

Our service area includes: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, and Worth counties.

Our Promotional Materials



Word Cloud

Flyer for Andrew, Buchanan, and Nodaway Counties

Flyer for Atchison, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, and Worth Counties

Blood Pressure Record

Our Impact Reports

Meet Our Team


Accessibility & Independent Living

In-Home Services



Board of Directors

What People Are Saying about MERIL

“MERIL hooked me up with a CCTV so I can read my newspapers, magazines and whatever else I need to read, and got me connected with the Wolfner Library so I can listen to audio books and got me a (TAP) phone.  MERIL has been great!  Without MERIL I would be sitting in this house feeling very sorry for myself. I would be pretty bored just sitting around not being able to listen to books.” – Beth Miller

[Charles is living independently, thanks to his Aunt telling him about MERIL, and for now at least, the cancer is gone. But where would he be without some help?]
“Well, before I had it, I was down at InterServ at the shelter because I was on the street. I’d probably be back on the street. Now I’m doing great!!!” – Charles Harris

“We don’t want pity, we just want a little help and with MERIL it gives us that! MERIL then became a real light in my own life because I feel more not like something… I feel like someone!” – Dan Polley

“MERIL does things for me that I can’t do. When I had surgery they helped me get my bandages.  I’m glad that MERIL is here because at least I get to be home. Otherwise I would probably be in a nursing home, so I’d rather be here. The best choice a person can make is to be with MERIL. They would be a winner. That’s how much I love MERIL!” – Martina Contreras

“I think it’s important because you get your independence back which is very important when you’re an independent person and all that is taken away from you. It’s hard to get back to where you were.” – Patsy Moss

“I’m able to stay in my own home and to be able to be with my grandkids and do what I want to do when I want to do it with them and they can come as they please.  I’m always out preaching about MERIL, always. Some people say I can’t do this or I can’t do that and I always let them know they can do everything they want to do with MERIL.” – Penny Moreno

“Employees need to be trained and our employees need to have tact when it comes to dealing with people with disabilities.  I challenge all the businesses out there to get with MERIL and do the same thing Hy-Vee has done [MERIL Seal of Accessibility].  It’s been a great experience.” – Brad McAnally, Store Director, St. Joseph HyVee

“Our Opinion”

MERIL’s Mission Worthy of Support

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The organizational mission statement for Midland Empire Resources for Independent Living describes a desired state: “All individuals, with or without a disability, are free to live as independently as they choose.”

This is a powerful, life-affirming vision we can sign on to. We encourage others to follow suit.

In doing so, you can give the participants in MERIL’s programs something more than your charitable gifts or even your compassion. You can share in the understanding we are all in this together.

MERIL is marking its 20th year with a luncheon today and other activities intended to raise awareness of its programs that last year reached 945 people in nine counties of Northwest Missouri. These programs are designed to assist people with disabilities and those who are experiencing the effects of aging.

The bulk of MERIL’s more than $7 million annual operating budget comes from Medicaid reimbursements related to personal care assistant services. However, the agency’s supportive efforts broadly impact the region. Among services it offers:

• The In-Home program through which a registered nurse is available to assist with medication setup, general health assessments or diabetic nail care.

• The Participant Assistance Fund that last year met 236 requests for help in obtaining grab bars, shower chairs, walkers and more.

• Multiple services for the deaf, hearing-impaired, blind and visually impaired, including sign language instruction and interpreting services.

• Advocacy for accommodations such as handicapped-accessible facilities, disability neutral hiring practices and steps to incorporate universal design into home and business construction.

Putting its message into action, MERIL takes pride in the fact a majority of its staff and board of directors are people who personally have experienced disabilities. Their insights into how to meet the needs of the disabled and aging are of unique value to our region.

Today we join in recognizing these contributions, as well as MERIL’s two decades of service.

Editorial reprinted by permission of the St. Joseph News-Press. © 2014 St. Joseph News-Press and FOX 26 KNPN. All rights reserved.

Radio Testimonials

**If you are trying to read a script below and it does not automatically download, right-click the link and save to view.

Holiday Spot – December 2015
Holiday Spot – December 2015 Script

MERIL Year End Spot – December 2014
MERIL Year End Radio Spot Script

Radio Testimonial, Shelly In-Home Services, Has Brought Me A Long Way, November 2014

Radio Testimonial, Shelly In-Home Services, Has Brought Me A Long Way, Script November 2014

Radio Testimonial, Shelly In-Home Services, Got It All On Track, November 2014
Radio Testimonial, Shelly In-Home Services, Got It All On Track, Script November 2014

Radio Testimonial, Juanita Johnson, September 2014
Radio Testimonial, Juanita Johnson Script, September 2014

Radio Testimonial, Brenda Mitchell, August 2014
Radio Testimonial, Brenda Mitchell Script, August 2014

Radio Testimonial, Dana Wells, July 2014
Radio Testimonial, Dana Wells Script, July 2014

Radio Testimonial, Genia Robinett and Chris Nichols, June 2014
Radio Testimonial, Genia and Chris Script, June 2014

Radio Testimonial, Treena Foster, January 2014
Radio Testimonial, Treena Foster Script, January 2014

Holiday Spot, Yearly Recap, December 2013
Holiday Spot Script, December 2013

Radio Testimonial, Martina Contreras, November 2013
Radio Testimonial, Martina Contreras Script, November 2013

Radio Testimonial, Beth Miller, October 2013
Radio Testimonial, Beth Miller Script, October 2013

Radio Testimonial, Patsy Moss and Rachael McElvain, September 2013
Radio Testimonial, Patsy Moss and Rachael McElvain Script, September 2013

Radio Testimonial, Charles Harris and Bethany Miller, July 2013
Radio Testimonial, Charles Harris and Bethany Miller Script, July 2013

Radio Testimonial, Marla Manship, June 2013
Radio Testimonial, Marla Manship Script, June 2013

Radio Testimonial, Randy Finwick and Jackie Allenbrand, April 2013
Radio Testimonial, Randy Finwick and Jackie Allenbrand Script, April 2013

Radio Testimonial, Michael Curley and Steve Bartlett, March 2013
Radio Testimonial, Michael Curley and Steve Bartlett Script, March 2013

Radio Testimonial, Dan Polley, January 2013
Radio Testimonial, Dan Polley Script, January 2013

Holiday Spot, Yearly Recap, December 2012
Holiday Spot Script, December 2012

Radio Testimonial, Lucille Edwards, November 2012
Radio Testimonial, Lucille Edwards Script, November 2012 

Radio Testimonial, Connie DeLong, August 2012
Radio Testimonial, Connie DeLong Script, August 2012

Radio Testimonial, Penny Moreno, July 2012
Radio Testimonial, Penny Moreno Script, July 2012

Radio Testimonial, Karen Arnold, June 2012
Radio Testimonial, Karen Arnold Script, June 2012

Radio Testimonial, Alda Owen, April/May 2012
Radio Testimonial, Alda Owen Script, April/May 2012

Radio Testimonial, Jackie Allenbrand and Alda Owen, April/May 2012
Radio Testimonial, Jackie and Alda Script, April/May 2012

Radio Testimonial, Christine McCoy, March 2012
Radio Testimonial March 2012 Script

Radio Testimonial, Patrick Fitzgerald, February 2012
Radio Testimonial February 2012 Script

Radio Testimonial, Adelina Thompson, January 2012
Radio Testimonial January 2012 Script

Holiday – End of Year – Radio Spot, December 2011
Holiday – End of Year 2011 Script

Radio Testimonial, Andrea Gardner, November 2011
Radio Testimonial November 2011 Script

Radio Testimonial, Angela Goldizen, October 2011
Radio Testimonial October 2011 Script

Radio Spot, Bridge Interpreting, September 2011
Bridge Interpreting September 2011 Script

Radio Testimonial, Phyllis Ware, August 2011
Radio Testimonial August 2011 Script

Radio Testimonial, Carey Dennis, July 2011
Radio Testimonial July 2011 Script

Radio Testimonial, Tammy Courter, February 2011
Radio Testimonial February 2011 Script

You can do small things right now to help people with disabilities.