I am a senior citizen in the City of St. Paul. Four to five years ago, I requested help with snow shoveling from the Merrick Community Center. The first year it went well, but in the 2nd half of the second season, help from the same person became unreliable. Eventually a new person was assigned which lasted for about two months, and then another for one event. the third year help was sporadic and unreliable. At that time I emailed the Director of Merrick about my concerns about the situation, but received no response. This year was typical of my contact with Merrick. Early in the season I received a call from J.A., Merrick Senior Chores, who told me that interviews with Contractors were being held, and that more help would be available. Shortly after that a female called me and said that she and her family had been assigned to me for temporary help with snow removal, that help never came. Then S. from Merrick Chores called me to say that Someone was coming right over to shovel snow, and she gave me her phone to call her if there was any problem. The Someone never showed up. When I called S. from Merrick , she did not respond to my phone call. In December of 2014, a man named J. came to my door with a Paper from Merrick for me to sign, and said he had been assigned to me for snow shoveling. J. came twice to my house when I was home, gave me a work receipt for payment. I sent the payment to Merrick, J. came to my house a third time, when I wasn't home and did the work, but did not leave a receipt. I called Merrick, and left a message for J.A. to ask for a receipt so I could make a payment to Merrick, but she never responded to my message. More than a month ago, I made several phone calls to J.A. to let her know that J. had never shown up again, and I asked to call me and let me know what was going on. To this date, Feb. 4th, 2014, J.A. from Merrick Chore Service has never returned my phone calls. Last week I called the Merrick Office and I spoke to a Staff member, and I asked that she tell the Director of my concerns about Merrick Chore Services. I also inquired of her why my contacts with past calls to Merrick have not received a response. She said that the response given by Staff, was that they had been unable to reach me. I have a phone feature that is a answering machine. In recent past there has never been a message on it from any Merrick staff responding to me. So I am very skeptical about that answer.
Merrick's new food bank facility is arranged and managed focused on the needs of participants. I attended the recent open house and was impressed with the efficiency, layout, helpful volunteers and staff along with the children's play area. This program offers participants a choice in the food they select - making sure they get a variety of nutritious food that fits their family's needs. Nancy Diekmann
Merrick Community Service's new food shelf located at 1075 Hudson Road in St. Paul, is clean, convenient and inviting. It offers a wide variety of food to accommodate diverse cultures. The staff and volunteers are friendly and helpful. The new food shelf is a great addition to the East side community.