Finding An Opportunity

1 decade 1 year 2 months ago Wednesday, April 04 2007 Apr 4, 2007 Wednesday, April 04, 2007 6:09:25 PM CDT April 04, 2007 in News

At 7:30 in the morning, Melissa Harris is starting her day. She stands outside her apartment with a few of her friends, waiting to catch the bus to work.

About 20 minutes later she arrives at Kingdom Projects, Inc., or KPI, in Fulton. It's where all the material from the city's recycling program is sorted and processed. A little after 8:00 a.m., work starts. Melissa is one of 140 physically or mentally handicapped employees at KPI.

"Each of them have a different personality, each of them have good days, each of them have bad days. You have to accept each one of them as an individual, and who they are, in order to help them with what they need to work at," said Melissa's supervisor, Arba Clayton. "Some of our employees tear pages out of books, and Melissa was doing that, but Melissa has more potential than just doing that...And this just seems to be something that she's kind of gotten into, it's a nice niche, and it's comfortable for her, she can giggle all day long, and she can talk all day long, and it's just a nice fit for her."

But, it is still a job.

"We try to steer people into the mindset of this is a serious situation as far as your work hours. This is when we open, and this is when you work," KPI Director Lon Little said.

There's no doubt the job means something to Melissa.

"I'm happy at Kingdom Projects. I'm glad I've been there, you know I'm proud of myself. I've been there 15 years. Oh my God, I'm so happy," Melissa said.

"These people are here for a reason, and for them to be able to go out and say I have a job and I get a paycheck is good for their self-esteem," Clayton said.

Clean-up starts around 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and the day's work at KPI is done at 2:30 p.m. Melissa's bus gets home about half past three, and when she gets back to her apartment, she's earned a moment to feel proud.

"It feels real good, when I get home, and kick my shoes off. It's just a hard day, and start tomorrow, a busy day again," Melissa said.

KPI recycles thousands of tons of material each year. The company gets funding from the state and from Callaway County. Still, KPI's Director says more than 80 percent of its income is from its contract work.

More News

Grid
List
BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) — Sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died following a crash at Beaver Dam Raceway in... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in August.... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in Sports
(CNN) - Partial results in Turkey's snap elections put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party in the lead, lifting... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Bikers Against Child Abuse group met with children to discuss past altercations with abusers in their... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 9:04:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Power was restored at approximately 9:00 AM CT Sunday morning for most customers in the affected areas. ... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:53:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has saved money and reduced emissions through its long-term energy efficiency programs. The university has reduced... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, June 24 2018 Jun 24, 2018 Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT June 24, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The wife of a former University of Missouri football coach is helping her husband remember the details... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:18:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Reaching all generations was the goal of one Columbia woman on Saturday. Cheryl Miller is the president... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 1:03:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two teenage boys suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Friday night, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:34:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A national gathering in St. Louis in September will focus on election security. Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:54:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
FULTON - The city of Fulton kicked off their annual Street Festival in style Friday with live music, a carnival,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:23:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 79°
8pm 83°
9pm 78°
10pm 77°
11pm 77°