On Tuesday, November 16th, Texarkana Chamber Members came together to celebrate the completed construction of the new Evergreen home for adults with intellectual disabilities here in Texarkana. Evergreen began in 1989, and now works in several areas of Texas and Louisiana helping adults with intellectual disabilities learn life skills, provide them with transportation to appointments and work, and have opened several homes for those adults to learn how to live independently with guidance and support from staff members.
Director Linda Bailey, who also serves as State Executive Director for Evergreen, spoke with guests Tuesday about the new home. “This newly constructed home has six bedrooms! That means that six individuals, and even some married couples can live here. In the home we will provide staff around the clock to serve those who will live. The goal with opening this home is to help champion those adults to succeed by providing them with opportunities to learn how to be a part of the community, while also learning skills that will help them be successful in living independently in the future. Evergreen receives 99% of their funding from Medicaid, so our program is monitored heavily, ensuring our clients are safe, provided for, and well taken care of. Many of our clients have jobs, and we are so lucky to have community partnerships with Albertsons and other businesses around the area that are eager to help provide those with intellectual disabilities with the opportunity to work. We also provide transportation for our clients ensuring they can be successful working and making medical appointments,” said Bailey.
Evergreen also ensures that their clients give back to the communities in which they live. Many of their clients have worked with the Adopt A Highway program, as well as doing other volunteer work around the community. “We serve clients at all ability levels. From those who are nonverbal to those with excellent expressive skills. With the ranges in ability levels, we are able to provide them with staff that are skilled at working with all clients. Our staff will work in 8hr shifts in the home, and we will also have a home manager who oversees the operation of the home. The home manager will be in charge of keeping up with grocery supplies, medications and monitoring, to make sure they are training those living in the home to be as helpful as possible!” said Bailey.
While the construction is finished on the new home, they aren’t expected to open the home for living until December. The new Evergreen Home is conveniently located next door to their day program. The Evergreen Day Program provides adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to learn life skills throughout the day with excellent support staff. “We have an art classroom, computer classrooms, a library, vocational programs, music and exercise classes, as well as a calming room for our clients to enjoy. The program begins daily at 8:30AM and ends at 3:30PM, and we want anyone at any time to come by and take a look at the great work that we are doing here in the community of Texarkana!,” said Bailey.
Stacy Tidwell, Director of Donor Relations, joined Evergreen in March, and is determined to make waves for the program here in Texarkana. “We have never had a fundraiser for Evergreen, even though we have been open since 1989. Since 99% of our funding comes directly from Medicaid, I am determined to make a change. So this March, we will be hosting our first fundraiser for Evergreen at Silver Star Smokehouse, and we will be selling tickets at a reasonable price, as well as sponsorships for as low as $100. We hope that everyone has the opportunity to come out and support Evergreen, and we are so thankful for your support here today,” said Tidwell.
The new Evergreen home is located at 1302 Wood St., in Texarkana, Texas next to the Evergreen Day Program. Donations for the home such as daily household items, are greatly appreciated, and can be dropped off at the Evergreen Day Program, or you can contact Stacy Tidwell, Director of Donor Relations to arrange a pick up at 903-824-0417.