MERIL offers solutions to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, people who are aging and people who are looking for skilled nursing services and therapy in the comfort of their home. We believe the quality of your life improves directly as you take control and begin to practice independent living. You have a right to live as independently as you choose and are able. MERIL can help in your journey to independence.
MERIL is a community-based, non-residential program, designed to promote independent living and to enhance the quality of life for individuals by empowering them to control and direct their lives and thus participate actively and independently in society.
Our Area of Operation
Our area is predominately rural and includes the nine-county area of Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth counties. MERIL was incorporated as a cross-disability Independent Living Center in February of 1994. We operated out of a temporary office space generously donated by Heartland Health Systems until April of 1995. At that time, we added staff and moved to 36th Street. In 1999, we moved to the office at 3715 Beck Road in St. Joseph. In 2004 we moved to our current location at 4420 S. 40th St. in St. Joseph.
How Independent Living Centers Differ from Other Service Organizations
There are many different types of organizations which serve people with disabilities: state vocational rehabilitation agencies, group homes, sheltered workshops, nursing homes, senior centers, home health care agencies, etc. What makes independent living centers different from these other organizations is that the centers have substantial involvement of people with disabilities making policy decisions and delivering services. Many other agencies use a medical model policy while IL centers emphasize control by the individual. Our Philosophy: All persons regardless of disability and age, are entitled to and should have equal access to the rights and responsibilities that other citizens are provided: to be as active and productive a member of society as they so choose; Thus comes the Independent Living motto of control over one’s life, by making choices that in turn bring about change.