Nathan, a young man supported by ACT's Career Services Program, lives in Sturgeon. Now he's working at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
He gets up and goes to work. He gets a paycheck. He pays taxes. He contributes, just like his family and those around him knew he could.
Nathan's story is a story of great personal success. We're proud of him, and we're impressed.
Without minimizing Nathan's personal successes in any way, his story is also a satisfying one of a vision being fulfilled. Funds for the services Nathan received were made available through Missouri's Partnership for Hope.
Not long ago Nathan didn't have a job. After graduating high school, Nathan no longer benefited from the structure of the school environment and the supports it provided.
He, along with his brother Mitchell, stayed at home, unable to access support they needed. The programs available through the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) did not view Nathan and his family to be in a sufficient state of crisis to justify aid. They couldn't qualify unless their situation deteriorated.
Missouri's Partnership for Hope was conceived as a plan for providing funding for community-based services (up to $12,000 per person per year) that could be accessed before families like Nathan's experienced a costly crisis (often requiring residential, long-term care).
On one level, the idea was rather simple. Provide services proactively, at a much lower cost, to avoid the need for reactive, high-cost interventions later.
Missouri's Partnership for Hope is working. And Nathan is working, too.
Nathan's brother, Mitchell, is also receiving the support he needs through the Partnership for Hope. He's developing skills right now to get a job he wants on a cleaning crew. He'll be on the job soon, too.
The ripple effects of this success are larger than Nathan and Mitchell. Their sister, Sara, who graduated at the same time, was putting off moving into her career because she was needed at home. Now she's on the job at ACT, working with us on-call as a Production Training Specialist.
So much of the pressure and worry about what might happen in the future have been lifted from their parents, too.
What started out as a good idea is really working in the real world, providing a better quality of life for Boone County families.