Updated: Sep 16
When Merlyna entered the P.A.L.S program, she was about to become homeless. She desperately wanted to become independent but her medical and mental health needs, along with other behaviors associated with being on the spectrum were a barrier. She was unable to drive and unemployed. She couldn’t advocate for herself and struggled to voice her independent thoughts, feelings and opinions.
While in the P.A.L.S program, Merlyna received support and education for her medical needs. She also received therapeutic services to meet her mental health needs, support for learning to drive independently, and assistance in finding a job. While at P.A.L.S, Merlyna found full-time employment at Goodwill. She’s able to drive all over Jackson and surrounding counties on her own and is living independently.
Most recently, Merlyna began independently managing her medical health needs and enrolled in her employer’s health insurance program. Over the past couple years, she’s found her voice and purpose, something she never had an opportunity to find as a child.
Merlyna’s been awarded Employee of the Month, and recently received a promotion. Her future goals are to go back to college and pursue a degree in English Sign Language. Through the P.A.L.S program she has found stability and a sense of belonging. We’ve had the joy of watching Merlyna grow into an independent young lady that advocates for herself and others in need.