Finding An Opportunity

1 decade 2 years 10 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
LAS VEGAS — The latest on the 2020 presidential campaign and Democratic debate 6 p.m. Six Democratic... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 8:07:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD- A retired Catholic priest has been charged in Missouri with multiple counts of child sexual abuse stemming from... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:54:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - While the snow disappears with warmer weather, potholes are opening in roads around mid-Missouri. Street division employees... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Joseph Elledge, the husband of missing Columbia woman Mengqi Ji Elledge, has been charged with first-degree murder,... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. Army Veteran is passing through Jefferson City on Thursday as part of his effort to... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:37:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND - After the Landmark Bank and Simmons First National merger on February 18, residents in Ashland are seeing some... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 4:16:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Clean Missouri was approved by 62% of Missourians in 2018. Now, some Missouri lawmakers want to reverse... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:19:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A public defender representing a Columbia man who plotted a terrorist attack has asked for a 15-year sentence.... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:43:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – People from all around Missouri and lawmakers packed into a hearing room in the Missouri Capitol Wednesday... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:22:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia parents and candidates for the Columbia Board of Education met Wednesday to discuss special education. This... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State lawmakers on the House Elections and Elected Officials committee heard testimony on a bill that could... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A Fulton man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 Columbia homicide. 30-year-old... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:23:00 PM CST February 19, 2020 in News
FULTON - The State Technical College of Missouri is partnering with the Callaway Chamber of Commerce to provide the MoAMP... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:55:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his candidacy to keep the seat Wednesday. Schmitt was appointed... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:13:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in News
Loxahatchee, FL – According to the national institute of mental health, nearly one in five people in the United States... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:20:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The man suspected of shooting an off-duty police officer at a Walmart store in the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 8:53:16 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Missouri advocacy group will show up in numbers to support its cause on Wednesday. Decoding... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:50:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA-- Lawyers for a Columbia businessman, Dimetrius Woods, are employing last ditch efforts to keep him out of prison. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, February 18 2020 Feb 18, 2020 Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:00:00 PM CST February 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
11pm 30°
12am 29°
1am 28°
2am 27°