Self-described as a quaint downtown, with a six-block main street and a mere 12,000 residents, North St. Paul has what some would consider a community treasure — an Adult Day Services (ADS) program serving people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD).
“Their joy is so real and it rubs off on everybody,” said Service Lead Therese Timbers with Merrick, Inc. “I think that’s what makes our job so magical.”
Located in what was previously a downtown bowling alley, the Merrick satellite site in the Franklyn Center serves 38 clients with a staff of eight. It’s within walking distance of many community resources, which opens doors for ongoing relationships and regular visits.
There are barbershop conversations between clients, staff, and community members, Timbers explains. People ask about the ADS program and learn more. At the library, staff members have books ready for visitors from ADS, know their interests, and even cater to them.