Shelter for Sheltered Work
Mabel Evans is a worker who loves her job. She's worked for nearly six years at Mexico's Handi-Shop Incorporated, one of 93 workshops around the state that pays those with disabilities to work.
"I get Social Security, but I need more money," Evans said. "So I come here and try and make more money."
Evans and other employees gathered at work after hours to hear Governor Blunt announce a bill that will increase funding for sheltered workplaces like Handi-Shop.
"Sheltered workshops [build] job skills, providing people that want to work with an opportunity to work and be a productive member of our economy," Blunt said. "And that's very exciting."
Under the bill, sheltered workshops will see an increase of $30 per week per person over the next four years.
Representative Steve Hobbs was also at Handi-Shop. He sponsored the bill and says the dedication of the employees is amazing.
"They want to come in on Saturdays because their work is so important to them. It makes them feel so worthwhile and it's such an asset to our state and community," Hobbs said.
Evans says Handi-Shop empowers her to work, but also gives her a financial boost.
"Helps me get my bills paid. You know, I get Social Security. [It] helps. Three, four more, sometimes $500 extra a month helps," Evans said.
And it's a plan that could help keep all the pieces together to keep sheltered workshops open.
The bill affects the pay of around 7,400 disabled Missourians.