Seagull Industries for the Disabled is Making a Difference
Seagull Industries for the Disabled facilitates improving the quality of life of developmentally challenged individuals. They do this through advocacy and a variety of educational, social, vocational and residential programs designed to encourage achievement, self-reliance and economic independence. From a small training center at a local church to a County-wide organization serving two hundred developmentally challenged youth and adults, this Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency has been changing lives and attitudes for more than 30 years.
When John was 44 years old, his mother passed away. For the most part, he had lived his life with her at his side. He has a brother in Ohio who he rarely hears from, and an uncle in Palm Beach County. John, as a child, went through six brain surgeries due to a physical abnormality in the brain, and surgeries left him mildly developmentally challenged.
John rarely worked because of his physical condition. Doctor’s would advise him to avoid too much exertion. After his mother passed away, he knew that he would have to earn money in order to survive. His social security was not enough to cover his expenses. He volunteered at a local hospital for three years in order to build a record of good work performance. Finally, he was hired to work in the hospital’s food service department. After one year, persistent leg cramps began to make it difficult for him to work every day. He missed a day here and there and was promptly terminated.
When his inheritance from his mother was gone, he could not pay the modest rent that he was paying. He was promptly evicted. No family member offered to help. In 2010, John turned to Vicker’s House in West Palm Beach. Seagull Industries was quickly asked to interview John as a homeless, developmentally challenged person.
John was very sad about his homelessness. He had been on the streets for a couple of weeks, had very few possessions, and no clothing to speak of. Seagull went into action quickly, and the results were quick and wonderful. John lives in a Seagull residential program, and loves it. He is no longer alone, and he is now working part-time for Wal-Mart and is doing well. He travels to work with the help of Palm Tran Connection. His finances are well under control between his earnings and his disability check. He is a model citizen, and a true Seagull success story.
John is just one of many who have been served through Seagull Industries. To learn more about Seagull Industries for the Disabled and other Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agencies, visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org.