PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A non-profit organization with a mission of promoting and protecting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is expanding.
Seagull Services and the Palm Beach Habilitation Center in Palm Springs are merging with The Arc of Palm Beach County to better serve their community.
Dwayane Morrison is hard at work folding boxes that will be used by a local company to ship items.
He's one of the dozens of employees at Seagull Services in Riviera Beach now merged with The Arc of Palm Beach County. Morrison says he likes it here and working alongside his peers.
"And the staff is good to all of us. They talk to us, and treat us like a family," said Morrison.
Susan Cortes also benefits from this program and works at a hotel on Singer Island.
"I take my paycheck and I give half the money to St. Jude and I take the money and save it in a bank. I love it here because this is a place for me to work and have friends here," said Cortes.
Palm Beach Habilitation Center in Palm Springs has also merged with The Arc.
"The need for services has grown so much. We really got together as three organizations looking at what we each do, and the similarities in what we do, but also the goals that we want for the future," said Kimberly McCarten, The Arc’s president and CEO.
McCarten says the merger will open the door for the thousands of families throughout the county to have better and easier access to programs and resources.
"To drive 45 minutes to get a service was really difficult for people. So this really helped us to have things throughout Palm Beach County," said McCarten.
The Arc’s current headquarters in Riviera Beach will become the children’s education and therapeutic hub, allowing for seamless transitions from preschool through high school.
The addition of a pre-K program will provide an inclusive education for local children – with and without disabilities – creating awareness, tolerance, and acceptance at the earliest ages.
The north and south campuses will allow The Arc to provide robust and vital programs for adults closer to their home communities, ensuring access to services that foster growth, independence, and personal goal achievement.
The Arc’s new mental health therapy program will optimize these services, enhancing clients’ ability to live, learn, work, and thrive.