By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Milk River Increasing Opportunities for Clients


November 21, 2018

Milk River Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering work opportunities, independent living and activities to adults with developmental disabilities. Milk River operates two group homes, a transitional living home and a work and activity center, and a large part of what they do is offer gainful employment to their clients through work opportunities linked to the services they offer.

The non-profit offers recycling, industrial laundry and confidential bulk shredding services. Michelle Eliason who runs the organization said the group has recently expanded their recycling service to include “clean” cardboard, meaning cardboard that does not have a plastic film or label coating it, aluminum cans, and potentially plastics. According to Eliason, they were able to expand their recycling abilities after purchasing a new baler paid for with grants from Wells Fargo and TransCanada.

Currently Eliason is trying to figure out ways that they group can come to businesses and collect the recyclables in bulk saving people time and increasing their loads. She commented that as of right now the group does come out and collect papers that need to be shredded from certain clients, particularly those who may be homebound.

Laundry services offered at Milk River are primarily industrial and Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital is the group's largest client. They offer the ability to bulk clean and dry large laundry loads and according to Eliason it works great if you need to wash large blankets or quilts.

“One guy even brought in all the contents of his camper after hunting season was over,” said Eliason illustrating the capabilities of the service.

On shredding Eliason pointed out that the service is entirely confidential because the clients who shred the paper are the ones who for one reason or another are unable to read. The group will come out in some cases, collect the items needing shredding and then after shredding them recycle the paper.

Eliason commented that not all the services are intended to generate the kind of revenue that a private business needs to operate. “We’re a non-profit,” said Eliason adding, “So, like with recycling, we are doing it to keep it out of the dump and to offer one more wage-paying job for our clients. That way they can do more than laundry.”


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