MERT Enterprises was founded in 1992 by Mary Rush, who started her career working in an 18-bed boarding home for people with development disabilities. Mary worked for many years at the boarding home and became attached to the people she cared for every day. One consumer she had been caring for, Colin, was under state guardianship and had no family. He soon became a part of Mary’s family, visiting her often and spending Christmas and Thanksgiving with her family. When the boarding home closed, he wanted to stay in Bangor to be close to those he cared about, but he was moved to a 26-bed home in Dover.
Mary negotiated with the state to see if they would allow her to give Colin a home. After the state accepted her proposal, she began to expand her own program, providing others with homes and opportunities in the community. Colin lived in Bangor in a home to call his own until the day he passed.
Mary’s small development has since expanded to 16 homes, each with 2 people. MERT provides staffing 24/7 for the 36 people they support and provides intermittent in-home service for people who live at home with their families, with significant others, or on their own.
MERT Enterprises employees work in a family-friendly environment that’s welcoming and inclusive. Consumers lead the development within the agency with a council they hold to plan trips, fundraisers, and other programs.
MERT never takes consumers that Mary wouldn’t work with herself and will not rent an apartment or home for consumers that she wouldn’t personally live in. She also will not hire staff she wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving her own loved ones with. She truly cares about the wellbeing of the people under the care of MERT.
“We treat people the way we want to be treated, with care and respect. We want our consumers to be part of the community, not just another group.” – Mary Rush
At MERT Enterprises, our mission is to provide a supportive environment for individuals to live as independently as possible in their own home and to promote inclusion in their community. We believe everybody has the right to live life with dignity, self-determination, integrity and growth. The personalized supports we provide maximize individual growth and potential in a safe, supportive environment.