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After Hurricane Katrina displaced Melvin and his family from the only home he had ever known, his whole life turned upside down.  Melvin’s aunt, who had adopted him when he was a child, moved the family to North Louisiana.  Melvin’s uncle became very sick and his aunt could not care for Melvin in addition to her ailing husband. His aunt decided that it would be best for Melvin to live at one of Evergreen’s community homes.

With Evergreen, Melvin would have 24/7 support. He would live in a home in the community. He would benefit from vocational training, transportation to wherever needed, group outings and a staff with great experience in helping people with disabilities. With Evergreen, Melvin could have a chance at being independent.

Without organizations like Evergreen, caregivers like Melvin’s aunt would have very few options.  She could forgo retirement and drain the family’s dwindling financial resources caring for Melvin and her husband, or she could send Melvin to an institution or nursing home.

Melvin has thrived since moving into an Evergreen community home. He has always had a passion for cooking and thanks to Evergreen, he has been able to turn it into a career.  When an Evergreen staff member heard about a restaurant opening nearby, she called its owner and pitched Melvin as a cook. He got the job!


Melvin is always so happy when he’s being driven to work, where he is a super-star employee.

Melvin has worked at the restaurant longer than any other employee. His work ethic has made him indispensable to his employer, but he would never have had the opportunity to be such a valuable employee without transportation.  Evergreen staff drive Melvin to and from his job (30 minutes each way) on an almost daily basis. An opportunity to work fulltime would have never been available to Melvin living with his aunt, who had her own full-time job.

Your support is what makes Melvin’s independence possible. The life he has at Evergreen is one that every individual with an intellectual and/ or developmental disability should have. Help us provide dignity and independence for thousands of individuals like Melvin.

Relaxing at the bowling alley with his Evergreen buddy

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