Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 9, 2013

Comp Services name changes

(Continued)

MT. VERNON — —

"We're not a county agency," said Jim Dame, chairman of the board. "We take insurance. We will work with anybody. That's one of the reasons for our name change. We're trying to change the whole concept that people view as to what we do. We do detox, we do mental health and we do substance abuse. We don't clean up everybody up, but once in a while we have a story that the miracle that has happened is just phenomenal," noting the organization has been in business for 41 years as a not-for-profit organization.

Gayle Shelton, a board member for about six months, said the work program is impressive.

"Everybody needs to be part of a community, and the feeling of family there is tremendous. Everyone there feels they have a purpose in life and are contributing something. So the work they are able to do is wonderful. You get a real sense of connection there, that they are connected to a larger group and they feel good about what they're doing," she said.

Comp Services provides services to about 70 individuals per day with developmental disabilities.

"They have cognitive disabilities, where they may be seriously disabled and need a day activity schedule or maybe actually be able to work and we provide that work and they are payed based on their productivity. The state used to give a grant for doing that as well as some fee for service and four or five years ago when the budget went belly-up they eliminated that funding," Boehmer said. "We don't have any fewer clients than we've had before, but we've got about 40 staff less than what we had before."

Melissa Learned is the vocational director and oversees a recycling program the agency provides to local businesses. Paper and cardboard products are picked up by the agency, sorted and baled, and then taken to Kendrick Paper Stock. The proceeds are used to pay the clients.The agency will soon be teaming up with Kroger to offer recycling to the community.

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