MARC Community Resources: Serving Adults with Disabilities

Today we toured Marc Community Resources in Mesa. It was wonderful to see how this organization cares for, trains, and helps find employment for individuals struggling with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.

The MARC Center is at 924 N Country Club Drive in Mesa.
Marc Community Resources is at 924 N Country Club Drive in Mesa.

Did you know? The organization started in 1957 when nine local families who had children with special needs formed a nonprofit corporation to start a school for children. In 1973 the center began providing a day program for adults with disabilities. Later it began opening residential homes and now runs nearly 80 of them in the Valley. It is now the largest provider of employment programs for people disabilities in Arizona.

A sign posted in the adult day care area.
A sign posted in the adult day care area.

Fast Fact: Nearly 30 percent of the 70 million American families have at least one family member with a disability.

A beautiful courtyard is used for parties and outdoor activities.
We weren’t allowed to take photos of the participants, but here a beautiful courtyard is used for parties and outdoor activities.

This nonprofit organization, with a $51 million annual budget, is primarily funded by state government. The agency generally doesn’t do fundraisers or operate with volunteers.

Much of the large facility is dedicated to job training. Here a mock grocery store provides an area for practicing needed job skills.
Much of the large facility is dedicated to job training. Here a mock grocery store provides an area for practicing needed job skills.

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What services does the organization offer? In-home support, community living, community day services, behavioral health, and employment related services.

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In this building adults are able to do meaningful work for pay.

Jobs that Marc participants can do include paid work at the facilities, cleaning Mesa buses, manning the Mesa Library coffee cart, labeling for Pilkington glass manufacturer, removing gum at Mesa Public Schools and helping at the Cubs Spring Training games.

One thing we saw a lot of were Medibags. Working with a local company, Marc participants stuff these bags, label them, shrinkwrap and box them up for retail sale.
One thing we saw a lot of were Medibags. Working with a local company, Marc participants stuff these bags, label them, shrink wrap and box them up for retail sale.

Job coaches work one-on-one with Marc members to help them and their employers navigate challenges on an outside job.

“Our ultimate goal is to get people out working,” said Bill McAllister, business development consultant.

The center is going solar.
This summer, Sun Valley Solar Solutions partnered with Marc to install solar panels for the organization’s Mesa headquarters.

Testimonials from Marc members:

Work is where people generate responsibility towards others and helps with my self-determination.”

Employment is an important part of my recovery. It helped me break out of the paralysis of the disability and stigma in my life.”

For more information, go to: http://marccr.com/

Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.
Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.
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